I met writer Randy Susan Meyers in November 2011 at the San Diego Jewish Book Festival when she was promoting her debut novel, The Murder’s Daughters. I loved the book as much as I loved Randy’s personality. (Go see her if you have the chance — she’s terrific in person!) Since I finished her first book, I’ve been eagerly waiting the release of her second novel. So I was thrilled when her next novel — The Comfort of Lies — was released just last week. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint!
Told in alternating points of view, The Comfort of Lies reveals the darkest and most private thoughts of three very different women all connected to a 5-year-old girl: Tia, the birth mother; Caroline, the adopted mother; and Juliette, the wife of the birth father. The year their lives collide, the women must confront their choices while discovering sobering truths about their relationships and themselves.
I love Randy’s writing — and Lies specifically — for a number of reasons. First, the writing itself is clear, crisp and has the ability to hook you in right away with simple and compelling storytelling. From the minute I started the book, I had a hard time putting it down. I read it within days because the characters were so raw and interesting. Randy doesn’t rely on gimmicks or crazy plot twist. She simply tells a compelling story.
Second, I love that the characters are so flawed and familiar. I found myself easily identifying with all three women in different ways. (I’ve been married nearly 12 years. I’m a mother. I’m also a driven person who sometimes prefers to sit at a computer working than do much else.) And while you might find yourself disliking one character in the beginning, you end up rooting for her in the end.
It felt really good to read such an honest book without a picture-perfect ending because life is not perfect. And even though I finished the book more than a week ago, those women have stayed with me. Also a sign of a good writer and great storytelling.
Finally, I admire an author who can write books that are so different from each other. While it’s true that both The Murder’s Daughters and The Comfort of Lies involve family drama, they are completely different stories. To me, it’s a testament to Randy’s writing skill that I cannot tell she wrote both books.
Thank you, Randy, for a great reading experience with The Comfort of Lies. Can’t wait for your third novel!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Comfort of Lies from Atria Books to review for this blog. However all opinions are my own and I only endorse products and books I am comfortable recommending to others. Even if I was not given a copy of Lies, I would have purchased a copy for myself.