Necessary Lies

By Diane Chamberlain

5 out of 5 stars

What a wonderfully moving book to start off the month of February!

Jane Forrester is a young wife, a recent graduate and a very idealistic social worker. Her husband doesn’t want her to work but she feels the need to help others. She never realizes just how involved she will get with her clients, especially, young Ivy.

Ivy Hart lives with her grandmother, her sister Mary Ella and Mary’s baby William. Mary Ella is a young woman with some mental deficiencies but she adores her baby. Ivy isn’t sure who the father is but they think he was one of their co-workers on the tobacco farm. Ivy and her family live in a ramshackle house on the property. The farm owner was best friends with their father when he was alive.  Nonnie doesn’t mind her diabetes well and Ivy, at only 15, takes care of everyone.

Jane is drawn to young Ivy. When she finds out that Mary Ella has been sterilized and Ivy awaits the same fate, she takes matters into her own hands at the detriment to her job and her marriage.

I loved Jane and Ivy.  Though Jane could be naive at the ways of the poor, she knew that Ivy had a brighter future. And Ivy had enough spunk for everyone! You had to root for her to get out of the only life she knew. Just great characters that bring you right along with them. They make you laugh. They make you cry.  It’s a lovely, compassionate book. I also learned about something I had no idea about, the Eugenics project. To think that the poor were sterilized just because of their situations. To say we need to sterilize morons is just one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard. And it’s not fiction! Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

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