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It is 1960 in North Carolina and the lives of Ivy Hart and Jane Forrester couldn't be more different. Fifteen-year-old Ivy lives with her family as tenants on a small tobacco farm, but when her parents die, Ivy is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew. 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 is given the task of recommending which of her clients should be sterilized without their knowledge or consent. The state's rationalization is that if her clients are poor, or ill, or deemed in some way "unfit" they should not be allowed to have children. But soon Jane becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her new husband and her supervisors. No one understands why Jane would want to become a caseworker for the Department of Public Health when she could be a housewife and Junior League member. 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 a life-changing battle.
Necessary Lies is 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?
They didn’t fight me. They got in the backseat and I started the car and headed out of the parking lot, thinking that I was not only the driver this morning. I was the master of ceremonies. 58 Jane I slipped my arm through Gavin’s as we waited in line at Starbucks. I’d never known Brenna to be a big Starbucks fan, but on the drive to Raleigh yesterday, she told us she knew she’d need a latte this morning, so here we were. I thought Gavin would have preferred bacon and eggs, but really,
“What have y’all done so far on the island?” The question was so out-of-the-blue that Bruce and Carol looked momentarily lost. I picked up Robert’s cue. “We learned to surf this morning,” I said. I knew he didn’t like conversations about politics. “Oh, isn’t that fun?” Carol said. “We did that yesterday. I was terrible at it, but Bruce was a natural.” “Wish we had those boards at Jones Beach,” Bruce said. The hard edges of his accent grated on me. “Tell them what we did this morning.” Carol
to her cases when she had the accident.” I’d told him about Charlotte’s leg on the phone. “Hard to step into them shoes, ain’t it?” He ate a spoonful of pudding, then set the bowl on top of the piano. “Yes,” I said. “But I know she’ll be keeping in close touch with me.” At least I hoped she would be. “Now, Charlotte,” he said, stretching his back as though he had a crick in it, “she had plans to get the Hart girl, Ivy … you know, taken care of … like her sister, right?” Wow, I thought. He
it already. He wants to get down and play.” Baby William was squirming in Mary Ella’s arms. Mrs. Forrester took him from her and set him on the sand. He started doing his wobbly run toward the water. “Don’t go in yet!” Mrs. Forrester called after him. “Wait for us.” I laughed. Let her see how easy it was to keep an eye on that boy. There was other people on the beach, but not too many. I could hear music from transistor radios and wished I brung mine. Mary Ella and me rubbed suntan oil on each
wiping her eyes. Oh no. I didn’t know whether this was good news or bad. I got to my feet and pulled open the door. “Did you stop it?” I hollered. “The operation?” She climbed the porch steps, out of breath and red in the face, and I wanted to run into her arms at the same time I wanted to punch her. I didn’t trust her one bit, but she was all I had. “You best stay away from here,” Nonnie said to her. “You cause a stir wherever you go.” “Ivy.” She was so winded, I guessed she’d run all the