16 July, 2013

Guest Review for Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain


On occasion my daughter Kara reads and reviews a book for me...This is her latest review to be posted on Celticlady's Reviews...thank you Kara, your reviews are always appreciated!!



Diane Chamberlain has never failed to tell a good story. Her latest novel, Necessary Lies, is no different.
The synopsis on the jacket summarizes the story as this:
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?
As an avid Chamberlain fan, I always look forward to her new novels. I do prefer her older works, but this novel reminds me of her older works. A story told with deep plotlines, deep family relationships, complex yet simple characters, and as always, moral dilemmas.
I love the setting of this book; 1960’s in the south, North Carolina no less. I was not alive during that time, but it is a period of time that holds much interest for me, especially the relationship between the whites and blacks at that time. Chamberlain does a great job not only accurately portraying it, but also showing that not everyone held the same racist beliefs. It’s also interesting to see that barely 50 years ago, women were still expected to cater to their husband’s every whim and Chamberlain does a great job showing her character Jane struggling between what is right and wrong and what she feels in her heart, in all aspects of her life. In her marriage, in her career, and according to her moral values.
This book also speaks to me personally because my significant other is a social worker in the foster care program and it’s amazing to see how similar yet how different the system is from then and now. And Chamberlain takes great pains to show the atrocity that was the Eugenics program at that time.
As always, Chamberlain delivers another great novel. I give this 4 out of 5 stars (simply because it was not my favorite novel of hers, but it is still a great book.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous17 July, 2013

    I love Diane Chamberlain books! Good review and I look forward to this one also.

    ReplyDelete

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