The Comfort of Lies
Randy Susan Meyers
Atria, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle
hen Tia Adagio fell in love with Nathan Soros, she knew it was wrong. Nathan was married with young children, and Tia's mother had raised her to be a good Catholic who would never even think about breaking up a marriage, much less one with children. Love is such a powerful force, though, that once she and Nathan became involved with each other, she could not resist him, and he seemed equally unable to detach himself from a relationship that betrayed his wife and sons. After a year of passionate, illicit meetings, Tia found herself pregnant. When she told Nathan, she was stunned that not only was he adamant about not leaving his wife for her, he also wanted her to have an abortion. This she could not do, even though carrying the baby meant that Nathan was no longer in her life.
ia arranged for a private adoption, giving the baby she called Honor to Caroline and Peter Fitzgerald, a well-off professional couple who could provide her with all the financial advantages that Tia had lacked when she was growing up. What she didn't know was that Caroline didn't really want children and had only agreed to adoption because her husband wanted a family so much. As time passed, Caroline found herself resenting the child and her husband for interfering with her own interests and career. Caroline dutifully sent a picture of the little girl to Tia every year on her birthday, and Tia mourned the loss of Honor constantly. Finally when Honor was five, Tia made copies of some of the pictures and sent them to Nathan. Feeling sure that he still loved her, she enclosed a letter telling him that '
this is our daughter.
he mail at the Soros residence was picked up that morning by Nathan's wife, Juliette. When she came to the letter and pictures from Tia, she nearly collapsed with grief and anger. She knew only that Nathan had had an affair (he confessed to her when he ended things with Tia), but he hadn't mentioned the pregnancy. Suddenly the pain that she had felt after he told her about the other woman in his life was back, along with suspicion, hurt, and horror. This little girl looked so much like Nathan and her younger son that Juliette found herself simultaneously attracted to the child, yet hating Tia.
his engrossing book navigates among the three women, telling each of their stories with warmth and understanding. Nathan has a few chapters of his own, and the reader even feels sympathy for his grief at the horrible mess he caused for those he loved. We watch the story unfold, wondering how Honor is going to be affected by the turmoil of the adults in her life, who have been changed so irrevocably by her birth. The stories of Tia, Caroline, Juliette and Nathan become interlaced around this child and we watch in sympathy as their lives collide.
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