Necessary Lies

  • by Diane Chamberlain
  • Narrated by Alison Elliott
  • 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town 50 years ago, and the darkest - and most hopeful - places in the human heart. After losing her parents, 15-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness, and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.
When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm - secrets much darker than she would have guessed.
Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong. Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: How can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Controversial story - great performance

What made the experience of listening to Necessary Lies the most enjoyable?

The characters came to life and one was pulled into the story right away.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Necessary Lies?

Can't give details - but there are some moving moments in the story


Which character – as performed by Alison Elliott – was your favorite?

Ivy and Jane


Any additional comments?

Great read - part of US history - don't miss this one - great value for your credit

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- Marie "Glad to be part of the audible community and I hope that my reviews help to choose the right book and share my love of reading."

Excellent story, historically accurate

My first introduction to American eugenics programs was through Jodi Picoult's book Second Glance. I was deeply moved by the subject, but have rarely run across it since until [book:Necessary Lies|17286747]. The story was gripping and well balanced by the characters maintaining an accurate world view for the time period (1960's), the author clearly being cautious not to modernize the characters' outlook on life and the world around them, ensuring that they were influenced by an accurately depicted 1960's society. The story is absolutely riveting, equally heart-wrenching and heart-warming, and the characters each completely unique, entirely genuine, and full of color. I highly recommend this work for anyone interested in eugenics, historical fiction, or even anyone who just thrives on an excellently told story.

The performance was also incredibly wonderful.
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- Tara "I'm a pragmatist & avid reader. I work full time+ so audiobooks = time to read. I'm an amateur author. I appreciate the art of writing."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-03-2013
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio