Wednesday 23 October 2013

Review - Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Necessary LiesNecessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to rad - 3 days

Publisher - PAN

Pages - 335

Blurb from Goodreads

North Carolina, 1960. Newlywed Jane Forrester, fresh out of university, is seeking what most other women have shunned: a career. But life as a social worker is far from what she expected. Out amongst the rural Tobacco fields of Grace County, Jane encounters a world of extreme poverty that is far removed from the middle-class life she has grown up with. But worse is still to come. Working with the Hart family and their fifteen-year-old daughter Ivy, it’s not long before Jane uncovers a shocking secret, and is thrust into a moral dilemma that puts her career on the line, threatens to dissolve her marriage, and ultimately, determines the fate of Ivy and her family forever. Soon Jane is forced to take drastic action, and before long, there is no turning back.

My review

The book starts in present day, well 2011, and gives a brief cover on an event and then takes us back to 1960, North Carolina in America. Jane Forrester is a new wife, new graduate and looking to have a career. An anomaly for her time but desperate to have a career and help people she gets a job as a social worker. Jane is rich, married to a doctor and wants for nothing, her clients are struggling to survive, need help but are proud people. Jane finds herself drawn to one family in particular in a small rural community. Jane needs to keep to what is best for the community, the people and keep her personal feelings at bay or risk more than her job.

Aw this is a great story with sad and very real issues that were a "normal" part of society for the poorer people and how they where exploited. Forced sterilizations, women seen as outcasts for wanting something more than a baby, racism, in these days you take so much for granted and often forget the horrors inflicted upon previous generations.

The book focuses on relationships between the rich and the poor, societal attitudes, the love between families and how a look at human nature and just how good and bad it can be. The story is mostly told from the view point of Ivy, 15 years old and one of Jane's new clients, poor and limited education. The other is told from Jane's, both are from first person narrative and skillfully shows the stark differences between the world they inhibit.

I found it hard to put down and was really drawn in to the tale from the first few pages. Ivy is a great wee character and my heart went out to her for trying to take so much on her shoulders. Jane is a likable character but she annoyed me at times with some of her actions and even her docile attitude in regards to her husband at times. That said it reflects well the way a woman lived and was expected to live in the 1960s. It is a thought provoking book and certainly makes you think about society back when, if you didn't fit into what was deemed acceptable you could loose so much. At the end there is an authors note with some of the reading she undertook whilst preparing and writing this book, I aim to read some of them too as it is such a shocking and interesting subject. The chapters are named so you know who is talking, although they are so distinctive you would know without it and they are fairly short so you can dip in and out. Overall I really liked it so 4/5 for me this time. I of course will read this author again, I really enjoy her writing style and have read her before.

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  1. This sounds like something I'd really enjoy. It sounds like a thought provoking read. I'm a fan of Diane Chamberlains. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. I'm on the fence with this book. I love Diane's writing style, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the sad part of the story. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Oh I love Diane Chamberlain! I have read almost all of her books except for the newest few. I need to catch up!
    This one sounds good. Nice review!

  4. Great commentary on this book. Though there are still some very dark corners out there, it is really amazing how much things have changed in the United States. 1960 was not that long ago.

  5. Great review. having read and enjoyed several of Diane's books I don't know why I haven't read more. Hoping they have a they have a copy in the library, this one really appeals to me.

  6. I've discovered so many fabulous books via your blog, and this looks like another. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  7. I thought this was a really good read Lainy. Glad you thought so too. Very moving and sad.

  8. Lainy, this sounds like a touching, engaging book. Terrific review!

  9. I haven't read any of hers, but I have 1 or 2 to read.

  10. I'm reading a Diane Chamberlain at the mo, The Good Father, not far in yet, but like it so far!

  11. I'm reading a Diane Chamberlain at the mo, The Good Father, not far in yet, but like it so far!


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