Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers

accidents of marriage by randy susan meyers

Photo Credit: Atria Books

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Accidents of Marriage

What happens when someone you love physically hurts you- even if they never meant to? Does the feelings of sorrow and repentance for the act heal the rift? Or, are some things unable to be repaired? Continue reading

Randy Susan Meyers Answers: The Comfort of Lies questions

comfort of lies

Ya’ll know for the last month we, Book Lovers Unite group, have been chatting away about Randy Susan Meyer’s latest, THE COMFORT OF LIES?

A book that has characters than can be unlikable at times- a situation that connects everyone, and issues of trust, fidelity, love and what makes a mother a mother- this book was fast flowing for me. I turned the pages and was quickly sucked into the world Randy Susan Meyers created. It’s good- but it’s not all bunnies, rainbows and sparkles. It’s real- which makes it’s GOOD.

Randy Susan Meyers and I have been chatting about this book since I told her that it would be August Book Lovers Unite selection. She kindly agreed to answer a few of the questions we would have. If you need to catch up on week 1, week 2 and week 3 questions about reading- please do! Even though August is almost over- I’d still love for you to chime in as you read this book!

 

Randy Susan Meyers Answers:

Why did Nathan reveal his affair to Juliette? Because he was feeling guilty or something else?

Nathan stumbled home spinning on the news of Tia’s pregnancy. Spilling his affair to Juliette was, in fact, a selfish act: he was seeking absolution and safety. Never—not for a moment—had Nathan considered or envisioned being with Tia in ‘real life.’ His affair was a selfish and thoughtless act of self-gratification, but it was never meant as an escape from Juliette. Tia’s news threatened him into running to his safest place, which was Juliette and his family.

In addition, he was terrified that Tia might confront Juliette—so he pre-empts this possibility.

 

Tia and Juliette- the only thing they have in common is that they both love and have been loved by Nathan.  Is either a better fit for the “real” Nathan? Or do both ladies complement different parts of his personality?

There is no doubt (to me) that Juliette is a far better fit for Nathan. To Tia, Nathan wasn’t a real person—he was a construct of her dreams of having a protector, a father-figure, and a more sophisticated man that the boys with whom she grew up. Neither of them was real to each other. Tia is Nathan’s ‘whore’ to Juliette’s Madonna, playing their roles in his Madonna-whore moment, a truth that Tia faces at the end of the book.

 

After finding out about the affair, should Juliette have taken some time to figure out her feelings, maybe even took a break from Nathan before they started working on their marriage?

Of course! But, as in most fiction (mimicking life) the characters take the worst (and thus, hopefully most compelling for reading) course. This sets up the fun of fiction (whether in books, TV, or movies) where the reader/watcher is tearing out her hair as the character takes wrong turn after wrong turn.

It’s been written (from studies) that reading novels of dysfunction is actually a good thing for people:

“Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/01/17/why-read-fiction/

 

I believe exploring the wounded and awful inside us is of great value—both for the ‘aha’ and the ways in which it allows us to explore ‘what would I do?’—as referenced in the article hyperlinked above.

 

Some worry about having ‘unlikeable characters’ in their books (and I’ve had some readers tell me they didn’t ‘like’ some or all of the women in my book,) but for me—both as a voracious reader and as a writer, exploring the dark sides of life that help me understand how to stay in the light.

 

Is Nathan truly sorry for his affair?

The question might be this: is he sorry he had it, or is he sorry that he got caught? I think in the end Nathan is truly sorry for the pain he caused Juliette and his sons. But, regret cannot erase pain. On reflection, I think he regrets having the affair, having told Juliette, and having been caught in the lies around his daughter.

 

Did Juliette truly forgive Nathan- or has she been deceiving herself all these years?

I believe there is forgiveness, and then there is forgetting. They are not the same.

We can forgive folks for acts, which engendered pain and hurt, but we can never forget them. These acts leave a scar. One might have a blanket–a lovely warm blanket–that tore. After sewing up the blanket it will still keep us warm, and perhaps we can arrange it on the bed so that it still looks pretty, but that ridge, that scar will always be there. We can live with it. But it’s never exactly the same. (Think of all the movies, jokes, television shows, etc, that when watched or heard together, will always cause a moment of discomfort for Nathan and Juliette.)

When Juliette read and kept the note from Tia to Nathan- did she cross the line from being a “victim” to sharing part of the blame in this situation?

What an interesting question! I think in this instance Juliette does became a part of the ongoing drama and holds responsibility for the cascade of events (especially towards Caroline!) but I don’t see her as crossing the line from victim to victimizer, per se (though I can see an argument being made for this vis a vis Caroline.)

Wow, this is what I love about book clubs–they bring new visions to the material.

It is certain that Juliette moves from being a quiet blameless victim, to having agency about her own future and to those around her. Before this (without her knowledge) a world connected to her family, and thus to her, grew around her. Now she is part of the mix.

I’ve written an epilogue, which I am putting out when the paperback releases, that will be sent to all book club members who’ve chosen The Comfort of Lies. This ‘bonus’ chapter will reveal the future, 8 years hence, and show further evidence of how Juliette’s actions had dramatic effect and change on all those involved.

 

 

 

The Comfort of Lies- Week 3 Questions

comfort of lies

This is the last week of questions for The Comfort of Lies. Next week, we’ll be back to talk about overall thoughts and more!

 

I finished The Comfort of Lies this morning- and I was really satisfied with the book. Well-written, enjoyable.

 

Week 3 Questions:

 

Why couldn’t Juliette’s mom accept that Juliette might want to leave Nathan?

 

Bobby- was he acting in the best interest of Tia? Or was he so blinded by his needs that he couldn’t see the big picture?

 

Could you change your lifestyle like Caroline and her husband did after living the life they were accustomed to? Did they make the best possible choice for Savannah?

 

Juliette- should Caroline have told her off?

 

What are your thoughts on Juliette and Nathan?

 

Does Tia deserve a happy ending?

 

What did you think about the book’s ending?

 

 

The Comfort of Lies- Week 2 Questions

comfort of lies

It’s week 2 questions for Book Lovers Unite online book club!

STILL plenty of time to join if you haven’t read The Comfort of Lies!

 

Week 2 Questions:

1. Should Juliette have told Nathan’s mother about the affair?

2. Tia and Juliette- completely opposite women in every regard except this: They love (and have been loved by Nathan). Juliette is classy, a role model, a business woman. Tia is younger, still looking for a way to make it in the world, and comes from a less privileged background. What drew Nathan to these women?

3. When Juliette talks about “never being able to let go of her child” should she be so quick to judge Tia? A mother’s love is strong- but can we make a point that Tia acted like a true mother in this case by putting her child’s needs ahead of her own? Or did Tia choose to find an adoptive family for selfish reasons?

4. There’s a power struggle between Juliette and Nathan. By all rights, in my opinion, Juliette should have the upper hand. He had the affair, he kept the knowledge about the child a secret. And yet, Nathan has turned this around- kept putting off the big convo that him & Juliette needed to have. Thoughts?

5. Tia going to Juliette’s work place- bold move? Underhanded?

6. How would you react if you were Caroline and Juliette had told you all about the events that lead to Savannah?

7. “Maybe that’s our problem. We haven’t yet figured out how to truly hate you, so we turn it on each other”- Tia.  How does that statement fit in with the whole Tia/Nathan/Juliette dynamic?

8. Tia is adamant that Juliette never have any contact with Savannah. Is this fair? Is this realistic?

I hope you are enjoying week 2 of the reading!

Ask Randy Susan Meyers!

comfort of lies

Book Lovers Unite is reading The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers for August! Join in on the fun!

 

Post questions for the author here and RSM is going to answer them! *Please have questions posted by August 19th at 5:00pmEST- as I must email the questions to the author who is being generous with her time!

Look for the answers later in the month- in a post titled Randy Susan Meyers Answers!

 

 

The Comfort of Lies: Week 1 Questions

comfort of lies

Book Lovers Unite people: It’s time! Week 1 discussion questions have been posted!

Remember- we will only discuss the first section of reading- pgs 1-111.  I just finished that section last night- and boy, does Randy Susan Meyers know how to write a great opening that will hopefully lead to a GREAT discussion!

Week 1 Questions:

1. Tia- would it be simplistic to say she has “daddy issues” and that’s why she had an affair?

 

2.  Affairs- black and white issue ( affairs are wrong- no question) or gray-issue (it’s not a def “line in the sand” wrong)?

 

3. Speaking of affairs- who is to blame more- Tia or Nathan? Tia for going after a married man? Or Nathan for breaking his vows? Are they equal in their blame? Can a person be taken that doesn’t want to be taken (at least on some level)?

 

4. Juliette- when does Juliette go from being a victim to earning a share of blame? When she hides the letter? When she has Caroline over under false pretenses? Or does she still retain her victim status?

 

5. Should Juliette have left Nathan when she found out about Tia?

 

6. Is Tia wrong for sending a letter to Nathan? Could her intent have been more malicious than it appeared?

 

7. Thoughts on Tia getting pregnant- she states about being on the pill since she gave birth. Is that statement telling? Was she not on the pill with Nathan? Was she trying to force Nathan into choosing her by having his baby?

 

8. Caroline- should Caroline have agreed to adopt Savannah? Or should she have said “no” to adoption? She caved in to her husband’s desires- but what about her own? At what point should 2 people say ” we love each other- but this is a deal-breaker” and part ways?

 

Thanks for joining in Week 1 of reading The Comfort of Lies!

Literary Friday ya’ll….

It’s the first Friday of August. Kids are headed back to school and summer is winding down. PS: Have you already started to see the Halloween stuff in stores? Ugh, I wanted to stomp my foot the other day and scream “It’s July, for Pete’s Sake! JULY!” I held back, tho, because I’m nice 😉

 

1. Deep South Magazine– chock full with good news this week for #literaryfriday: DBF news (Decatur Book Festival), giveaway for Beth Albright’s The Sassy Belles, 2013’s most talked about books, and Hemingway look alike’s!

 

2. Interviews this week on Traveling With T include: Amy Shearn where she talks about who make a perfect rusalka if The Mermaid of Brooklyn is made into a movie and Randy Susan Meyers where she tells about “the butter in the cookies” and a special surprise for book clubs that have selected The Comfort of Lies to read!

 

3. Author Spotlights this week on Traveling With T include: Amy Shearn where she confesses something that may get her Author Card revoked, her Pinterest obsession and her #literarycrush. Randy Susan Meyers tells her #literaryconfession- her confession is likely to cause raised eyes in the literary world!

 

4. Have you been seeing the #ctbs posts and wondering what that’s all about? #ctbs = Conquering the Book Stacks. Here is the info and here is my goals (which may get revised as I update weekly!)

 

5. Book Lovers Unite Online Book Club is back at Traveling With T- August’s Book Club Selection is: The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers. Here is the reading schedule and here is the opening thoughts. Discussion questions will be posted Aug 9th- so plenty of time to get the book!

 

6. Two reviews were posted on Traveling With T this week: Finding Colin Firth by Mia March and The Recipe Box by Sandra Lee.

 

7. Missed out on my Bloggers Made of AWESOME post? Here it is!

 

8. I haven’t picked my #fridayreads yet- need to look at my #ctbs list!

 

9. Want to win a copy of The Mermaid Collector by Erika Marks? Visit Goodreads!

 

Happy Reading!