Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Review Revisited

On Friday I posted the CFBA blurb promoting The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry. It was such a whirlwind week that I could not put a coherent thought together for any sort of review of this book. Which was a shame because it was a compelling and thought-provoking novel. So I thought I'd take a few minutes and revisit it here.

I have read several stories in which an individual experiences amnesia and the impact on a marriage or other relationship in the process of piecing the affected patient's life together. This book takes it beyond that to a whole new level. A man with secrets, now hidden even from himself. A wife uncovering those secrets and facing a crossroads. . . .what will be her choice from this day forward?

While there was plenty of intrigue and suspense as I tried to figure out the whole situation, the heartbeat of this beautiful story is grace, forgiveness, and mercy. To stay, to forgive, to start anew. . . when there is every reason, and even Biblical support, to turn one's back on the one who shattered and made a mockery of the wedding vows. To choose to love. . . when our human natures scream for justice and even revenge. To do the hard thing in the midst of heartache and brokenness. . . because that's what God has called us to do.

My bloggy reviewer friend Kim over at Window to my World has posted a wonderful interview with Christina Berry which you can read here. While the author makes it clear that she is not judgmentally saying that every broken marriage can be healed by such actions, I loved her comment that Denise (the wife in the story) "knew that obedience to God, despite gut-wrenching pain, would bring unthinkable rewards" and that "in her heart she felt God calling her to something difficult and frustrating and holy and Christ-like." I encourage you to pop over and "meet" the author and then grab a copy of this book!


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Christina Berry said...

I'm so glad you DID revisit it and share what you thought. I'm humbled, yet heartened because that's exactly what I prayed God would say in my writing. :)

Kim said...

Thanks Linda! It is a powerful look at forgiveness and grace!