When Nathan slept with Tia, he changed the lives of Caroline, Peter and Juliette, not to mention Tia's. And though he was the chief instigator of the affair that affected everyone, I finished the book thinking he was the least affected, leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces of the mess he'd made.
At 24, Tia should have known better than to get involved with a 37 year old married man and father of two. But growing up in South Boston without a father lent her to making poor decisions and searching for father figures in the wrong place. And while she truly believed that Nathan loved her and would eventually leave his wife for her, he had no intention of doing so, and even less when she announced her pregnancy.
Just like that, Nathan walked away and left her to deal with "it," because that's how he referred to the baby growing inside of her. But the baby was never just an it to Tia and instead of getting rid of "it" as Nathan had suggested, she made the decision to give her daughter up. Five years later, she still lives with the guilt of doing so.
The Comfort of Lives takes a rare look at the fallout of an affair. While we would normally see things from the sides of both parties and their significant others, Meyers also takes us into the life of the adoptive family. From Caroline, who never wanted to be a mother, and her husband, who takes to being a father like a duck to water, to Juliette, whose faith in her husband Nathan is once again shaken. It wasn't enough that she had to deal with his affair five years ago, now the results of that affair are front and center in their lives.
I went back and forth with characters in this book. At times I liked and loathed all of the adults involved. I take it back, I never liked Nathan. Each of the women, and to a lesser extent Peter, dealt with the repercussions of the affair, but Nathan, not so much. That's not to say that he didn't have to deal with any of the fallout, but emotionally, his thoughts weren't centered around the child that resulted from the affair, only about how it affected his relationship with his wife. I just wanted to jump into the pages of the book and slap some sense into his entitled butt.
Because there are so many facets to the story, I can see this being a great read for a book club. There's no doubt that everyone will have an opinion on each character and sides will definitely be taken and discussions will be had.
Published: February 2013
Disclosure: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.
Theme: As We Lay by Shirley Murdock