Thursday, May 8, 2014

Necessary Lies

I haven't read Diane Chamberlain's work before, but after devouring Necessary Lies on Saturday, I will have to change that.  

Set in in the south in 1960, Necessary Lies moves between two narrators. There is Ivy, who is growing up on a tobacco farm with her sister, Mary Ella, grandmother, and nephew.  The family is poor and uneducated, but Ivy has dreams of college and moving to California.

Jane, the other narrator, is newly married to a pediatrician and intent on using her college degree despite her husband's protests.  She takes a job as a social worker in Grace County, where she visits many poor families including Ivy's.  

Jane grows to care for the people she works with and her unconventional approach is not well received by her boss.  When Jane realizes that her job will include referring young women on for a surgery to eliminate the chance of them having children, she is unwilling to lie to her young clients who have been told they were having an appendectomy.  

The practice of eugenics is one that really took place North Carolina in the 1950s and 1960s. Chamberlain's book is well researched and was so hard to put down. I so enjoyed Chamberlain's character, Jane, and the way in which this story was told.  

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