An affair never just effects the two people involved, especially if one of the lovers is married.
In “The Comfort of Lies,” author Randy Susan Meyers explores the ramifications of an affair between Nathan, a professor, and his student, Tia. When Tia becomes pregnant, Nathan ends the relationship, tells his wife, Juliette, and begins to rebuild his life.
Five years down the road, Juliette intercepts a letter intended for her husband and discovers Tia gave the baby up for adoption.
Juliette's life comes undone as she tries to find the adoptive parents and her husband's child.
Unaware of the turmoil surrounding their adopted daughter's life, Caroline and her husband Peter, are raising Savannah as best they can. Caroline, a workaholic pathologist, doesn't have the normal maternal yearnings for the little girl.
As the story unfolds, each person in this realistic drama is given a chance to tell their side of the story, which is exactly the way the author planned.
“That was really important to me,” Meyers said during an afternoon phone call from her home in Boston. “I love going through a situation and looking at it through each of the character's eyes.”
Prior to her writing career, Meyers worked for 10 years as a counselor with people who battered their spouses. It was during this work that she realized the importance of multiple points of view.
“Everybody's story is true to them,” she noted.
Meyers is solidly established in a second marriage with a “stable kind of guy,” so she's able to deal with writing anything.
“My life isn't spent managing my relationships,” she said with a laugh. “I like the quote, 'Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.'”
Meyers is also interested in the collateral damage done to her characters.
“We don't operate in a vacuum,” she said. “I like exploring the things that trip us up.”
Meyers wanted her readers to see what Tia's love for Nathan did to Juliette, and, in turn, what affect Caroline's maternal distance had on her family.
“Caroline was not super in love with her child or her life after the adoption,” Meyers stated. “How could I write that way about motherhood? Well, I had no problem exploring those emotions.”
Exploring honest emotions and sharing them with her readers is what makes Meyers tick. She wants them along for the ride.
“If I can't write without a reader over my shoulder, I shouldn't write,” she said.
“The Comfort of Lies” is Meyers' second book. Her debut, “The Murderer's Daughters,” came out in 2010. It was told from the viewpoint of the sisters, although her readers asked for more about the father and mother.
“It was a real decision I made,” Meyers said, explaining why she limited the point of view to the sisters. “You can only know what they know. The reader can't know any more [than the girls know].”
The original title for her second book was “Paper Baby,” but Meyers' editor, Greer Hendrix, said it needed to be changed.
“People won't buy a book with baby in the title,” Meyers said with a laugh. “So I spent a good four days – I take this stuff seriously – I went through quotes and poetry and everything I could get my hands on. When I found that quote [by Anonymous in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations”] it hit me – like an hour of love hits you. I knew that was exactly what I needed to say. Of course, now I think I'll never find such a good one again. If I can find something to worry about, you know I will.”
Meyers need not worry. Her writing is true, strong and pure. Her characters aren't perfect. If they were, who would want to read about them?
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