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Publisher's Summary

The best intentions expose the darkest secrets....

If you're a fan of Jodie Picoult, you'll love Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain, best-selling author of The Midwife's Confession.

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 15-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.

©2013 Diane Chamberlain (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What listeners say about Necessary Lies

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very interesting story

Really enjoyed the book, it is always hard to understand why things happened the way they did but of course they did have the research & technology. Sadly so many suffered as in many other countries & cultures

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lovely story based on grim facts in US history

A beautifully written story actually based on facts from a time in US history that is thankfully in the past, though only 50 years ago. The narrator's voice was perfect for all the characters and the book really touched me.

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History lesson mixed with a great story

I really enjoyed listening to this story and thought it was well written and spoken on audible.

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Necessary Lies

An excellent read. Love all Diane Chamberlain books. Unfortunately I can't get them all on audio.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-2019

Captivating

at first I thought so many chapters might drag slightly but after one you are hooked. you feel like you are friends with the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tracie Angell
  • 17-09-2018

A wonderful book

A very thought provoking book that is very well written I would highly recommend it.

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  • V_Nerdbooks
  • 31-03-2019

Amazing narration

Another Historical read for me that I never would have even looked at if it hadn't been recommended in a Facebook group I am in (Thanks Cyndi)

This story was one that made me absolutely stunned, I had no idea that this was something that was practised, and also that it was STILL being practised up to the 1980's!!

I was crazy mad listening to this book, how people can have been given this much authority over other human beings is just mind blowing.
If you are a Jodi Picoult fan then you will probably love this one too.

Anyhoo, back to my review!

Set in the 60's in Rural Grace County, Jane Forrester goes for an interview for a job as a social worker, much to the dismay of her fiance, he is unhappy in the fact that she is getting a job, let alone a job that might undermine his position as a doctor, and make him a laughing stock at the Golf Club, none of his friends wives work after all!

Jane wants to work, and feels that this would be an ideal position for her, that she may be able to do some good, she may even be able to help people less fortunate than her.

She gets the position and shadows another worker until an accident sets her on her own to carry on the job.

Ivy is one of her cases.

15 year old Ivy lives on a Tobacco farm with her family, her parents both died so she is now in the full time care of her grandmother, but her grandmother is ill, so it is Ivy that is doing the caring. Looking after her grandmother, her mentally ill sister and her sisters 2 year old son William is no mean feat, they rely on Welfare to get money for the family, they work on the Tobacco farm to pay for their lodgings.

Ivy has her own problems, she is epileptic, and because she is 15, she is "obviously" going to start sleeping around, I mean, look at Mary Ella her "feeble minded" sister, she had William after all!
They managed to fix that though, at least she won't be bringing any more "retards" into this world! Ivy is an ideal candidate for the program, it just needs to be signed off by the Social Worker, of course you don't tell her what it is you are doing, just tell them that they look ill, Mary Ella had her "appendix" out, and look, she's perfectly fine now!!

Jane cannot believe what is happening to these young girls, but what can she do, she's already been reprimanded for something she did wrong, she may even lose her job.

This story is based on true events that happened, in the authors notes she does say that she didn't want to focus on the actual deed, but to focus on the families and the aftermath, but some of the stories that she read about it were truly horrifying.

🎧🎧 - Brilliantly narrated by Alison Elliot, this story is one that will probably stay with you for a while!

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  • Dixie_Chick
  • 27-08-2020

Excellent

A fantastic story with brilliant narration. I was hooked right from the start and riveted until the very end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-09-2018

Excellent story, couldn’t put it down

I really enjoyed this story, it was so good I hated having to press pause to do things!!
Very well written and beautifully read, if you like Jodi Picoult,you will love this book.

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  • Karen Dearnaley
  • 07-02-2021

Amazing!

I loved this book. It was a fascinating story (even more so because it's based on truth), great characters and an amazing narrator.

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  • ziiigggg
  • 14-01-2021

quality audiobook

This is a story of a woman who works as a social worker at at time when women didnt work. she tries to help families in extreme poverty and their are stresses on her marriage and friends. she is a strong character driven by the right intentions but things go wrong. another theme is the well intentioned but misused eugenics programme in operation then. it aimed to help poor women better themselves by not being permanently pregnant and child raising but it got misunderstood and misused. the story doesnt really make any points, just presents the for and against. it was very well narrated and was exciting as we were with jane every step of the way in her personal development and learning to be her own person and not just go along with the mores of the day.
well worth a credit.

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  • WomanoftheWorld
  • 30-04-2020

Wonderful story, brilliant narration

A story about the atrocities occurring in the US that the whole world had condemned after WWII. Yet the setting is of love and survival, bringing it to life.

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  • Atheana
  • 26-04-2020

WOW! Talk about powerful!

It is rare that you can read (or listen to) a book which is both informative and enjoyable/entertaining. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily call this book entertaining as such, it certainly had me glued to each spoken word.

Like many other reviewers, I knew nothing about the existence of the eugenics period/practices. And to be honest I became quite angry when learning about it. I know the author said that there were hearings following the eugenics period however my guess would be that like many other injustices (think Windrush) the perpetrators and diabolical authors of this practice went completely unpunished whilst the victims are with no doubt still awaiting compensation.

This book is gripping, there really isn’t any other word for it. It will stay with you long after the last word is spoken. It will leave you both angry and informed whilst feeling a bitter sense of injustice for those who suffered as a result of this diabolical inhumane practice.

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  • John G
  • 11-12-2018

Loved this book.

A very well written story yet again from a great author. Diane chamberlyn never let's you down. I loved this book.

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