15 year old Ivy lives on a tobacco farm with her grandmother, older sister and nephew. In most situations, Ivy feels like the adult as her grandmother is growing feeble, her sister struggles with mental illness, and often Ivy is left to care for nephew who is at the age where he gets into everything.
Jane Foster doesn’t need a job. In fact her husband would quite prefer if she would be content doing what other wives of his profession do… have lunch dates, set up hair appointments, and plan dinner parties. Jane however, is bored with that life and wants to do more. She joins Grace County’s Social workers and is assigned to Ivy and her family. Soon Jane finds herself too emotionally involved in Ivy’s case mush to the annoyance of both her boss and her husband. When Jane finds out that Ivy’s sister had been sterilized so she could not have any more children and that the plans were in place to do the same to Ivy, Jane feels she must make a stand for this family.
With what feels like everyone against her, Jane makes hard decisions that affect not only her job, and Ivy’s family, but Jane’s own personal life as well.
Author Diane Chamberlain has never disappointed me. Another mind blowing tale, except this one as I learned, has truth within it. At one time, there were state-mandated sterilizations that were used for those decided to be mentally ill, poor, anyone who the state deemed unable to take care of a child in their opinion. Crazy stuff.
In Necessary Lies, the story is told alternatively from Ivy’s perspective to Jane’s. It makes for an interesting read as these two women speak from their very different backgrounds. As the story progresses both Ivy and Jane find that they are not so different after all.
Very well done book, I listened to this on audio and narrator Alison Elliott set the perfect tone for this book. Fans of Diane Chamberlain, women’s literature, and historical fiction will not want to miss out on this one.
- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 51 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: September 3, 2013
36 thoughts on “Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain”
I really enjoyed this book.
Glad to hear you did too.
Thanks, I have so many books to read but I almost just want to read her for awhile…LOL
I have this book in a to-read pile. it has been there for a long time, I’m ashamed to say. Sounds like I should be anxious to read it, though.
It is another good one by Chamberlain!
“Jane makes hard decisions that effect…” The word you want here is affect not effect.
LOL thanks, that’s what I get for cranking out a review on the run 🙂
It’s great to hear the audio was done well given the alternating POVs. That’s a big plus.
I have listened to or read quite a few that way lately and I find I like the different perspectives.
Sheila, I’m glad you enjoyed this audiobook. Jane sounds like a character I’d root for, and the book sounds compelling. Very nice review!
Wow, looks pretty good!
I missed the author event but did order this book in print when she came here. Now, I’m glad I did.
I would love to see her in person!
I haven’t read this author before- sounds like I’m missing out! I’ll definitely keep this one in mind.
She is amazing. I just discovered her this past fall and I think this is now my 4th by her.
I loved this one, too; I have yet to read a book by this author that I didn’t love.
I’ve read about forced sterilizations of the mentally ill and the poor and disadvantaged before. Really quite shocking. This book sounds like a fascinating read.
Isn’t that just a wow? I didn’t know about it until now.
I loved that book! Diane Chamberlain is amazing. I love all of her stuff.
I do too!
I am a new fan of Chamberlain. Thanks for your great review Sheila. I’m going to add this to my To Read list.
She is pretty awesome!
An author I like. This is another book to keep an eye out for.
I’m looking forward to reading more by here after Silent Sister.
Yes, I think this is my 4th or 5th by her now.
Pushing this one up my list, I meant to go straight to on to it after reading the prequel, The First Lie, somehow I got sidetracked. Nice review Sheila 🙂
OOH I did not know about the prequel!!! See how we work together? 😀
Looking forward then to listening to this one on audio. Oh and I see from above there is a prequel, must check that out.
Right? I need to catch that prequel too!
I’ve never read anything by Diane Chamberlain before, but this sounds REALLY good. I’ve heard of other novels that deal with this issue. As horrifying as it sounds, mandates sterilization is still sometimes talked about and considered, so it’s an important issue to get out in the open.
Book By Book
You must read Diane Chamberlain – she is a treasure I found last fall when I read Silent Sister…. oooh good stuff!
I loved this book even though it made me really pissed off about the whole eugenics thing. After I finished it, I watched a youbube video (I think the link may have been in the book?) of a trial of victims suing the state. Some states had the program into the 70s!
OOH I am going to have to look for that link. I must have missed that in the audio! WOW about it lasting tot he 70s in some states. 😦