The Silent Sister

Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

Ope’s Opinion: Although I figured some of the mystery and secrets before they were revealed, I enjoyed the whole story. It was an awesome story with lots of twists.  It read fast because I kept wanting to see if it was going to go where I thought it was going.  There were surprises right up until the end.

Hearing the story from both Riley and Lisa points of view moved the story along really fast.  I kept wanting Riley to know what I already knew!  It was fun to see her discover the secrets.  I thought the way she found out different information seemed realistic.  She had different sources for different secrets.

I enjoy Diane Chamberlain’s writing and I will definitely read another one by her.

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Necessary Lies

Author: Diane Chamberlain                                         necessary lies
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Pages:  352
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads:  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?

Ope’s Opinion:  Historical fiction is not usually my favorite genre, but this book exceeded my expectations.  I am a Diane Chamberlain fan, so I was willing to take a chance on this book and I am glad I did.

This book was a slow build.  Chamberlain took her time to let us get to know each character as they lived in their situation.  We see their lives through Jane, the social worker and Ivy, a young girl on a farm point of view.

Part of what hit close to home for me was that I went to college to be a social worker and my professor discouraged me because he said I would get too emotionally involved.  Seeing Jane experience this made me grateful to this professor because I took my life in another direction ( teaching ).  I could feel all of what Jane was feeling.  It is hard to see someones needs and not want to meet them.

I really liked how Chamberlain wrapped up the book in the end.  It really answered all your questions.  It was done in an awesome, realistic way.  Great writing!

Rating:  Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.
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