Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
Published by St., Martin’s Press
Review copy from: Personal purchase
My Rating: 5
Synopsis (via GR):
Bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town fifty years ago, and the darkest—and most hopeful—places in the human heart
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?
My Thoughts and Opinion:
I have been a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain since 2010 when I first read one of her books, The Lies We Told and then subsequent books, The Midwife’s Confession and The Good Father. My husband and I visit our favorite vacation destination, Aruba, every year and it is a tradition that one of my beach reads is a Diane Chamberlain novel. We didn’t go this year, because of my recent surgery, but I still had to read her newest book, Necessary Lies.
It is 1960, as the synopsis states, in the tobacco fields of Raleigh, North Carolina. We are introduced to the Hart girls, the Jordan family and the Gardiners, owners of the plantation. We also meet Jane Forrester, a newly graduated social worker who has a huge heart, believes in principal, and truth, and with her first job, it may become her last. One thing she wasn’t familiar with was the Eugenics Program, one that the state could decide on sterilizations for those that tested with a low IQ, had epilepsy, or mental illness without consent of said candidate. Could Jane make that hard decision?
The cast of characters were believable. The setting was described brilliantly so that I could visualize something that I have never seen. Weaving within the story, a horrific true part of American history. This was the first I knew of this program, and can honestly say, was appalled.
Ms. Chamberlain, once again, intertwines a cultural situation with life like characters that had this reader, once again, turning the pages of a phenomenal book. I will be pre ordering her next novel, The Silent Sister, publication date, Oct. 7th 2014. I suggest you order your’s too!!
Highly recommend, not only this read, but any of Ms. Chamberlain’s works!!