Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers REVIEW

The Comfort of LiesThe Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Description: “Happiness at someone else’s expense came at a price. Tia had imagined judgment from the first kiss that she and Nathan shared. All year, she’d waited to be punished for being in love, and in truth, she believed that whatever consequences came her way would be deserved.” Five years ago, Tia fell into obsessive love with a man she could never have. Married, and the father of two boys, Nathan was unavailable in every way. When she became pregnant, he disappeared, and she gave up her baby for adoption.

Five years ago, Caroline, a dedicated pathologist, reluctantly adopted a baby to please her husband. She prayed her misgivings would disappear; instead, she’s questioning whether she’s cut out for the role of wife and mother.

Five years ago, Juliette considered her life ideal: she had a solid marriage, two beautiful young sons, and a thriving business. Then she discovered Nathan’s affair. He promised he’d never stray again, and she trusted him.

But when Juliette intercepts a letter to her husband from Tia that contains pictures of a child with a deep resemblance to her husband, her world crumbles once more. How could Nathan deny his daughter? And if he’s kept this a secret from her, what else is he hiding? Desperate for the truth, Juliette goes in search of the little girl. And before long, the three women and Nathan are on a collision course with consequences that none of them could have predicted.

Riveting and arresting, The Comfort of Lies explores the collateral damage of infidelity and the dark, private struggles many of us experience but rarely reveal.

My thoughts: I'm still digesting this book. The book description sets the book up perfectly. The reader knows the basic facts and the characters involved. But this is contemporary lit which involves complex relationships.

The best way to approach this book is to withhold judgment which is incredibly difficult, given the subject matter. This helps with understanding all points of view.

Nathan is a middle aged college professor who stupidly has an affair with a vulnerable young woman. He loves his wife and his sons but he is somehow able to disconnect and be something else without the responsibilities of real life. Until it becomes real and Tia announces her pregnancy.

Now we are five years post affair. Juliette has forgiven her husband but not forgotten. They have made peace and fallen into a rhythm of family. Nathan has buried his sins by being an upstanding father and husband. Then Tia's pictures arrive and Juliette has to relive the deceit and rejection all over again. This was my favorite relationship that Meyers explored. There are no easy answers but each person has to be willing to swallow some pride and look honestly at themselves and what they can accept from their spouse. Which leads me to Caroline and Peter.

This the couple that adopted Savannah. They live on different planes. Peter measures happiness by wealth. Caroline believes she not maternal enough to be a mother. Caroline, with her calculating, scientific mind, became my favorite character as she cut through the crap in conversations. It is another complicated relationship that includes Peter and Savannah with an ongoing conclusion to their stagnated lifestyle.

Tia is a rather tragic figure. Although not spelled out, Tia swims in her own victim hood. She is still obsessed with Nathan and it is her actions that is the catalyst to the crisis. Not that I disagreed with her stirring the proverbial pot. Although I didn't particularly like her, she brings a perspective to the paradigm that needs to be addressed. She paints Juliette, whom she does not know, in a light that Juliette would not fit. In Tia's mind, Juliette is the villain. Nathan chose his wife and sons over Tia and his unknown child.

Truthfully, I don't know how I feel about the conclusion of the book but I do feel satisfied with each of the women's personal growth and acceptance. It is still an extremely painful subject to address but the author delves deeply into each of the psyches of the players and the relationships.

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*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Kim said...

I think I would find the book compelling, and I'm sure I'd be talking and thinking about it long after I finished reading it.

When I read your description of the affair, I immediately thought of John Edwards' situation. But the adoption of the child changes everything - there is no new child to accept, there is only loss.

Sounds like the baby got the raw end of the deal all the way around.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I'm reading this one next week and I can't wait. It's kind of outside my comfort zone but I'm hoping that makes it even better.