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.