Tia, Caroline and Juliette live in various neighborhoods and suburbs of Boston, but their worlds are farther apart than the miles would suggest.
Susan Randy Meyer's newest novel, The Comfort of Lies, revolves around the conception, birth, and adoption of a little girl, and the effect this has on the women it impacts.
Though the heart of the story is the drama that unfolds around the discovery of a child that was the product of an affair, the real power of The Comfort of Lies is its examination of motherhood as portrayed by the three female protagonists. Is Tia's decision to give her daughter up for adoption because of the pain she felt at her lover's abandonment a commendable sacrifice or selfish? Does Caroline's honest assessment of her unhappiness in motherhood make her a bad mother, and is this compounded by the fact that her child is adopted? Is Juliette's connection to this child legitimate, and to what extent should she expect involvement in the life of the child her husband abandoned? These questions are left up to the reader to answer, though Meyers paints a sympathetic view of all of the characters, sometimes to a fault.
The writing was unremarkable and the story felt predictable, both in the resolution and the behavior of the characters. Not a single character was well-developed or particularly likable and, despite Meyers' attempts to make these women seem strong, the most important decisions in their lives are heavily influenced, albeit sometimes indirectly, by the men in their lives.
Overall, I found the realistic portrayal of infidelity and motherhood compelling enough to finish the novel, but I didn't feel much sympathy for or interest in the characters themselves. I'd recommend this book to someone who enjoys family dramas, perhaps, but not to someone looking for a book that packs a strong emotional punch.