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Necessary Lies

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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?

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 08, 2013 – In this heart-wrenching historical fiction, prolific author Chamberlain focuses on a time in North Carolina s history that most people would rather forget. It s 1960, and Jane is a 21-year-old newlywed who s just accepted a job as a social worker, though her husband, Robert, would rather she stay home like the other country club wives. Her clients poor tobacco farmers in Grace County, like the Hart family live in the harsh reality of the rural South, with too many mouths to feed and not much to feed them. Jane is eager to help, until she discovers that part of her job is deciding whether young girls like the vivacious Ivy Hart should be sterilized, in order to keep them from having babies that depend on the state. A captivating look at the little-discussed eugenics program that was responsible for sterilizing more than 7,000 American citizens some without their knowledge this engrossing novel digs deep into the moral complexity of a dark period in history and brings it to life.

Customer Reviews

Good story...

But I almost put it down halfway through. The second half was much, much better. I did finish it and I'm glad I did.

Another Great One by DC

This book is amazing! If you like thought provoking books with a great storyline then this book is for you! All the emotions are covered from happiness to sadness to happiness again....This is one of her best! Keep them coming Dianne, your writing is a gift!

Necessary reading!!

What a great book by one of my all-time favorite authors! I loved the characters in this book & through the fictional characters learned about a real historical tragedy. It breaks my heart that so many people had to go through something so blatantly wrong! Thank you, Ms. Chamberlain, for shedding light on this "program." And please, please, please keep writing! You are such a talented writer & I eagerly await all your future novels!

Necessary Lies
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Sep 03, 2013
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 497 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings