Necessary Lies

Necessary Lies

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Diane Chamberlain delivers a 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?
Publisher: New York St. Martin's Press, 2014
New York St. Martin's Press, 2014
Edition: First St. Martins Griffin edition
Copyright Date: ℗♭2013
ISBN: 9781250054517
Characteristics: 372 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Necessary lies


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Dec 30, 2017

What a wonderfully touching story. We are reminded that there are periods in our past that are born out of ignorance and prejudice. Although the characters are fictional, the story line is all too real. It evokes a wide range of emotions with the perfect ending A must read !!!

Jun 09, 2016

I really enjoyed this book so much that it was hard to put down! The story gives the reader glimpses into the real history of N. Carolina's sterilization program in the '60's but also touches on issues of race, gender, sex and class and how they intersect, which makes for a very interesting read.

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Mar 14, 2016

Admittedly, I was unsure how to rate this book. On the one hand, I loved the story. It's interesting (lots of memorable characters from different walks of life, a familiar and relatable (to me) setting, a rich time period) and important (delves into the disgusting eugenics movement right here in North Carolina, addresses sexist, racist, and classist attitudes common in the south during that period). On the other hand, so many things, big AND small, happen much too easily throughout. When I realized, though, after a week post-read that I am still thinking about it with a clear-as-day mental picture, I decided it absolutely deserves a high rating. Overall, a really good read.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Nov 19, 2015

Three different narrators tell the story of a social worker's quest to help a family in 1960's North Carolina. Jane, a new social worker, seeks to help the Hart family: Nonnie, Mary Ella, Ivy, and Baby William. While Grace County is fictional, the novel sheds light on troubling facts from North Carolina's history. The weakest parts of the novel are the two chapters narrated by Brenna. Brenna isn't a well-developed character, and her narration seems too sappy compared to the rest of this haunting and beautiful novel.

Nov 02, 2015

I did like it & it kept me wanting to go back to it. Set in the south of America in the 60's. It is fiction but the subject of sterilizing young girls without their permission really did happen for a time. Very provocative story.

Jun 12, 2015

This historical fiction novel is set in Grace County, a fictional county in North Carolina. In the story, Jane becomes a social worker, in spite of her husband who prefers to have a stay-at-home wife. She learns about the state's policy to sterilize young girls in poverty and African-American women, and she starts to question the system. In the book Jane fights for a young girl named Ivy who becomes pregnant at 15. It is a thought-provoking page-turner with a satisfying ending.

Jun 04, 2015

Excellent read! Moves quickly and keeps you reading to learn what will happen next to the characters you've come to care about, no matter how similar their predicaments are, or are not, to your own.
I can't believe this was happening in my lifetime. Oh, who am I fooling; this is still happening; the rich controlling laws so that the poor will stay poor and will consume less and less of what the wealthy consider theirs alone (despite how hard the poor work for what little they have). Excellent choice for a book club discussion!
I look forward to reading more of Diane Chamberlain's books.

May 28, 2015

I got very caught up in this book. It's quite good and I loved the characters.

Apr 14, 2015

I finished this book in 2 days, I couldn't put it down. Excellent read !!!

Chapel_Hill_AmandaG Mar 31, 2015

Beautifully written with a host of likeable characters. It does deal with some heavy (and very eye-opening!) issues, but the relaxed and simple makes it a very enjoyable read.

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Sep 24, 2017

khawk8878 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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