Monday, 23 September 2013

Review: Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm.  As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.

When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed.  She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband.  But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed.  Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.

Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy.  Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Genre: Adult fiction/ Historical fiction

Kristine's Review:
I received an ARC copy of this book a few months ago and although I did post a review on Goodreads I never got a chance to post it here. I am so sorry!

 Diane Chamberlain does it again! I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it to everyone. 

Working in the Developmental Services field I was already well aware of eugenics programs in my own country (Canada) but did not know anything about the history of it in North Carolina. In Alberta thousand of people were unknowingly sterilized (for multiple reasons) as recommended by the eugenics board consisting of four people until 1972. They approved 99% of all cases put before them. Shocking but true...

Knowing this I was not shocked when reading Ivy and Jane's story and the events that occurred during that time. Although fictional, I am very pleased that Chamberlain tackled this subject as it brings a real awareness to what happened to her readers that may not have known that this occurred during that time. 

It was so easy to get sucked into this book as the characters were so likeable. I have always been a fan of multiple narratives because it gives you more than one perspective and keeps the pages turning. Words cannot describe how much I adored this book. I wish I had written this review when everything was still fresh in my head. The only thing I can say is read won't regret it! 

This may just be my favorite Chamberlain book yet!

Kristine's rating

Terri's Review

Diane Chamberlain did it again. This story was very well written and perhaps my favorite of all of her novels. It reminded me of her previous novel Breaking the Silence which was the first of hers I read and up until now my favorite. Although two very different stories I love the fact that the backdrop of both was focused around a controversial issue that occurred in real life. It made the character all the more real. This book will stay with me for a while.

Terri's Rating

About the author

Diane is the author of 22 novels published in more than eleven languages. She likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of suspense, mystery and intrigue. 

Connect with Diane online:

Twitter- @D_Chamberlain

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