Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

"Ivy and Mary was here."

Those words are the beginning, the ending, and the basis of NECESSARY LIES.  Those five words go full circle in this incredible, haunting book.

You will be transported to another world as you read NECESSARY LIES. A world of poverty and illiteracy as well as pity for the way the families had to live.

Jane, a physician's wife, was the new social worker dealing with the Hart and Jordan families.  The families worked on a farm owned by Mr. Gardiner who had connections with both families - connections that were not on the up and up.  The Hart girls, Ivy and Mary Ella, were the biggest problems for the family and definitely the social worker.  Together each family told a lot of secrets and "necessary lies" to the social worker.

The book's characters were genuine and will tug at your emotions.  One thing after another happens to the family, and the social worker gets drawn into the family's plight even though the social services agency told her some of things she was doing for the family were not acceptable.

The book flowed very nicely and was divided into chapters told in the voice of the main characters. You will become attached to the characters as I did and will be staying up late to "turn the pages" of this well-researched and beautifully written, poignant book based on a true program implemented in North Carolina.

NECESSARY LIES is the perfect title because lies were necessary for the characters to survive.  It is heart wrenching yet informative as you follow the characters through their inadequate, restricted days.  I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful, sensitive first book I have read by Diane Chamerblain. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.


  1. I just put this title on my list last week. Terrific review, Elizabeth! I'm looking forward to reading.

  2. THANKS, Beth. I think you will love it.

  3. I've been wanting to read this book!! Your review just makes even more of a must read for 2013!!

  4. Hi Cuz: How have you been? I have this one in my TBR pile and can't wait to read it. I just love her books. Hopefully after my son's wedding, I will have time to start it.

  5. I am doing well, Cuz.

    Hope all goes well for the wedding.

    I am glad I helped you, Books in the Burb...makes me smile when I hear a comment like yours. THANKS.

  6. I've never read Chamberlain's work but really want to. This sounds excellent!

  7. As you know, I loved this one too. Great review for a great book.

  8. THANKS for commenting, Laurel.

    It was a very informative and good read.

  9. This is the first book of hers that I read. I hope you get to read it, Kathy.

  10. Hi Elizabeth,

    I have all the Diane Chamberlain books archived on my Kindle, as my mother-in-law is addicted to them and cannot recommend them highly enough.

    Given the bad press that Social Services and Social Workers have been getting over here in the last few months, this is probably going to be quite a harrowing read, that is closer to the truth than anyone imagines.

    So many children have slipped through the net and have ended up dying, often at the hands of their parents, that there really needs to be a big shake up of the system!

    A great review and I am looking forward to getting to read 'Necessary Lies'.

  11. Thank you for the great review! I have been on hold for this at my library forever (small town where everyone grabs anything newer). It looks like the wait will be well worth it.
    -Dilettantish Reader

  12. Yvonne and Belle Read...I hope you get to read it.