Friday, January 3, 2014

Necessary Lies By Diane Chamberlain

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?
This one deserves more than 5 stars!  I learned something about American history (you know the kind nobody wants to talk about) I felt connected to the characters and truly cared what happened to them and I just couldn't put it down.
 
Diane Chamberlain takes on the hush hush topic of the eugenics sterilization program something that I didn't even know existed and couldn't believe that we actually practiced especially after WWII. But somehow Diane skirts the line of making this an angry political statement book leaving me feeling more like I was educated than told how to feel about something.
 
The book is told from two women's points of view, Jane and Ivy, and they couldn't be from more different worlds. Diane creates a realistic relationship between these two women which I found refreshing considering how easy it could have been to go overboard with their friendship.  Both women are very well developed, as are all the characters.  There are ones that I liked and ones that I didn't but I understood why every single one of them acted the way they did. 
 
I'm not going to lie, the book is sad, but again Diane skirts the line of sad and depressing very well.  I never once got up from reading this book with that heavy depressed feeling so many books sometimes leave.  I always got up wanting to read more and when it was all done I was happy with the way she chose to end it.
 
After visiting Diane's website I discovered a prequel to this book and I am going to download it right away. This is a keeper book for me and I have the feeling that many of her other books will be as well.  I am so glad I read this, it was by far one of the best books I read all year.
 
I'm linking up, come join us!
 
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1 comment:

Art @ Home said...

I can definitely tell it's a keeper based on your review! I wonder how many books will be in the series. Should I read the prequel first? Does it matter?

Thanks for linking-up, Sweetie. Stay warm the next couple of days! I dread taking Shelley to school tomorrow, regardless of the one hour delay!

xo,
RJ