The Comforts of Home
Have you ever gone on a binge, reading books that hold your interest while you read them, but a couple of days later you can’t remember at all? While The Comforts of Home held my interest while I was reading it, it wasn’t a memorable book for me. In addition, this is not a standalone book and contains numerous story arcs and characters that seem continued across books.
Over two years ago, Major Kate Cummings reentered Tyler Wright’s life. He doesn’t know why, but he is grateful that she did, and tells himself that he should be thankful for that instead of wanting more. As the town’s funeral director, he has the corner on understanding and patience but maybe Kate thinks of him as more than a friend. Still, she was the one who stopped communicating with him before and he doesn’t want to risk that happening again. Finding a homeless pregnant young woman sleeping in her car on cemetery property provides him with a welcome diversion from his fixation on Kate.
Ronelle Logan has spent most of her twenty seven years in Harmony trying to be invisible, partly because her mother’s overbearing, brusque, opinionated, and narrow-minded personality. Before he died her father used his connections to help her get a job with the postal service which at least gives her nine hours away from her phobic, controlling mother. While sorting the mail gives her the anonymity she craves, she never minds doing special deliveries because that allows her out in the fresh air. After exchanging insults with Marty Winslow, she finds it bolstering to discover another person who hates interacting with people as much as she does. In turn Marty finds it refreshing being around an individual that doesn’t tip toe around his infirmity.
And then there’s Regan Truman. Regan’s only relative, Jeremiah Truman, is dying. At age 90, after suffering his fourth heart attack, he requires round the clock care so when her best friend, Noah McAllen, is hurt in a bull riding incident she is torn. Still she travels to Memphis to provide support, and when his family is unavailable she arranges for him to stay in her home. She not going to ask Noah to put away his dream of being a champion, but there is no chance for any type of relationship with her ties to Harmony and him always following the rodeo circuit.
As you can see, there are many threads within this novel (and I haven’t even covered all of them here) and it seems that they all move at a snail’s pace. While I did enjoy the relationship building, the authentic conflicts, and realistically drawn characters, I would have preferred that the story concentrate on one or two relationships and have those move forward more. Reading about so many imbalanced potential romances also became very frustrating. Part of relationship building is learning to talk to the other individual about the future. Building trust involves taking risks and telling the other individual what you want. Instead, many of the parties here are afraid to be vulnerable, and they just wait and wait until finally the other person is ready. In addition, the lack of closure on several relationships overwhelmed the happily ever after. I do commend Ms. Thomas for not utilizing the overused device of having true love solve easily provide a quick fix to people’s issues but I still could have used a little more closure.
If you are a fan of the author, then I suspect you enjoy the slow pace and continuing story arc. If you enjoy books with closure, I recommend giving this book a pass.