52 Books, 52 Weeks, Week 8: The Comfort of Lies

So this week's read was a wildcard, i.e. book I think should be on the bestseller list, The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers. And while that may not have come true -- yet -- I'm sure this is mostly related to the fact that the book is caught up in the Simon & Schuster fight with Barnes and Noble. Physical bookstores still matter, people, so if you want to read this book bug your local indie to order it!

Anywho, The Comfort of Lies is a complex tale that explores the potential results of infidelity and the choices we make in life. The book opens with Tia, a girl in her twenties who's having an affair with Nathan, a married man. She's pregnant and she thinks this will finally be the impetus for him to leave his wife and kids. It isn't. Instead, he asks her to "take care of it," something her Catholic upbringing revolts against. But she feels like she can't raise a baby, so instead, she gives it up for adoption.

Enter Caroline, her daughter's adoptive mother who is ambivalent about being a mother of any kind. She agreed to the adoption because her husband wanted it and she couldn't find the words to tell him no.

Five years later, Tia decides that she wants to know more about her daughter than the yearly photographs she receives from Caroline, and that Nathan should know that she went through with the pregnancy. Only, her letter to him gets intercepted by his wife, Juliette. Juliette knows about the affair--and decided to stay in the marriage--but not about the child. Finding this out sends her off the deep end and there is where the meat of the novel lies.

Sounds good, right? (If it doesn't, I did a bad job at summarizing it.) It is. Meyers, who had a breakout hit with her first novel The Murderer's Daughters, has a knack for writing characters that you don't necessarily like, but that you want to know more about anyway. Based on her first two books, I'd say it's kind of her signature. Because many of these characters aren't an easy like, something that usually turns me off a book, but didn't here. I might not have understood Tia's motivations, or Nathan's, but I still wanted things to work out for them. I still wanted to know how the knot they were all tangled in would be undone.

Meyers' solution to that problem is not predictable or a platitude, either. It is simply satisfying. And so I recommend you read this book because it will make you think and wince and maybe even cry. Because it is good.

(Sidebar -- I love, love, love this book's cover. Whoever designed it is a cover genius.)

So, on to week... 9? Where did the time go? Safe Haven is still #1 but Maeve Binchy's new, and last, book, A Week in Winter is number #2, so that's what I'm reading. It's been a while since I read a Binchy book, but I've always enjoyed them in the past. If you want to know what the Goodreads group thinks about it, come check it out.

Rumor is, Randy Susan Meyers will be taking questions ...

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