The Comfort of Lies follows the lives of three woman who inadvertently become connected after one man's infidelity.
Tia had an affair with a married man, Nathan. When she becomes pregnant, he leaves her and she gives the baby up for adoption. Caroline isn't quite ready to be a mother, but her husband insists he wants a child. They adopt Tia's and Nathan's baby and name her Savannah. Nathan doesn't know about the adoption and when he tells his wife, Juliette, about the affair he neglects to tell her about the pregnancy.
All of that was 5 years ago. Now, Juliette intercepts a letter, along with photos of Savannah, that Tia has mailed to Nathan. All of Juliette's old wounds are opened up again when she sees how much the baby looks like Nathan. If he's hiding this...well, she isn't sure she can trust him. She insists that he needs to get to know his daughter, which leads these women to be linked in unexpected ways.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. There weren't a whole lot of happy moments, but the premise was terrific and the story was likeable. That's not true of the characters, though. With the exception of Savannah, I found it hard to like any of the characters. Each one of them, the men and the women, seemed to make a series of bad decisions. At times it was difficult to watch, I mean, read about.
Of the three women, I felt sorry for Caroline the most. However, her agreement to adopt the baby when she clearly wasn't ready to be a mother wasn't her shining moment. Her agony at not having the energy or desire to spend time with her daughter was palpable. I think there's an unfair societal pressure on women to be mothers. At the very least, they are expected to want to be mothers. That's just not true for all of us.
There's quite a few side stories in this novel. I didn't really find any of them intriguing, but I was especially blasé about Tia's job with the elderly. I don't think it added to the story; I just found it depressing.
Even though there are relatively few main characters, I had a hard time telling the women apart throughout the better part of the book. I knew their situations or predicaments, but I couldn't seem to remember their names. I can't figure out why. Anyway, I referred to the character descriptions on the dust jacket to help me keep track of which one was which.
I think I've been reading way to many mysteries lately (if there can be such a thing). When I was reading this one, I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn't a mystery; it wasn't likely to take a sinister turn. Not that it would have been a bad thing, but it's probably best that unfolded the way it did.
Recommended. I'd definitely read another book by this author.
For more information about this book, please visit Simon & Schuster's website.
For more information about the author, please visit Randy Susan Meyer's website.
I'd like to thank those nice people at Simon & Schuster for this review copy.
The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers, Atria (Simon & Schuster) ©2013. ISBN 9781451673012(Hardcover), 323p.