Saturday, February 2, 2013

Review - The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Moore

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads):   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.

And here's what I thought:  I enjoyed reading this book, and in truth, partly because it's like being a voyeur into the lives of someone else (or, in this case, three other people).  I liked that the three women, Tia, Caroline, and Juliette, were all very different, but their lives all became tied together.  The author does a nice job of developing each character, and making them well-rounded; I never felt like I didn't have a complete picture of any of them.   I had clear insight into each of them, which I appreciated.  While I don't think I really identified myself with any of the characters fully, I did find them all interesting, and realistic.   I think I especially liked Juliette, who I didn't think I would, at first --- but she turned out to be wryly funny at times, and that made me like her.

The characters aren't perfect, and that's what's refreshing --- they all have flaws.  There's no one woman that you can point to in the story and feel like she's doing a great job with her life, all the time.  And they all have their issues.  Obviously, Tia's got an unresolved obsessive love with Nathan, who is married to Juliette.  Caroline has adopted Tia and Nathan's child, even though she didn't really want children.  Juliette thinks she's got the perfect marriage until she finds out about Nathan's affair, and now has spent the last five years with a veil of suspicion hanging over things (and fuming on the inside about how much Nathan takes her for granted).  

The book has an even pace, and I found it to be a page-turner.   It's got some thought-provoking elements in it, too, that made me consider what I'd do if I were each of these women.   I'm sure we'd all like to think that in certain situations, we'd behave gracefully, but when actually faced with something, perhaps it wouldn't go so well.  All in all, an enjoyable book.   I had read and enjoyed the author's other book, The Murderer's Daughters, so it was great to have an opportunity to read this new one from her.

First lines: 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.

And another note:  The authors will donate a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Home for the Little Wanderers, which is a non-profit child and family service agency.


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