Necessary Lies by, Diane Chamberlain narrated by, Alison Elliott
Another fascinating book about the eugenics program in North Carolina this time told from the perspective of a new social worker who is appalled at the program. The first book I read on this subject was “Unfit by, LaraCleveland Torgesen” which I found fascinating and I think both of these books should be read to really get a feel for what these poor women/young ladies/children went through.
Jane may be a woman ahead of her time because the only respectable job for a lady was a school teacher or nurse especially when you are married to a pediatrician who really doesn’t want you to work. You surely don’t go to work as a social worker, working with the poor and god forbid the coloreds , it made me sick that her husband was more upset about her having to work with the coloreds and that she wasn’t there to have dinner waiting for him. I for one am so glad at how far we have come as women!
We also meet Ivy Hart who is one of Jane’s clients Ivy is trying to keep her little family together even though she is only 15 years old herself. She takes care of her grandmother who has a problem with sugar which we now call diabetes and an older sister who has already had one illegitimate child but little William is the apple of everyone’s eye and they do try their best to take good care of him. But when Jane takes over as case worker everything changes, Jane makes a discovery and tells a secret that changes everything for the Hart family.
I really liked this book, this was a new to me author and narrator and I enjoyed them both very much. I liked the authors writing style and I found the subject matter well handled. The characters in this book are nicely fleshed out and it gives us a frightening look into social work in the 1960’s in North Carolina, which was the one state that continued the eugenics program longer than any other state, so many women (and men) were sterilized just for being poor or colored, which I feel is horrifying.
Narrator Alison Elliott did a really good job at portraying both of these women and I thought she added to the telling of this story I will definitely listen to her again.
I will be looking for other books by this author.
4 ½ Stars