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My Sister’s Books Review #39

Necessary Lies

By: Diane Chamberlain

At fifteen years old, Ivy Hart has known true heartbreak and what it means to be responsible for others. She takes care of her ailing grandmother, her mentally challenged sister and nephew, while going to school and working long hours on the tobacco farm. Her family is on welfare and is regularly visited by Grace County’s social workers, but she couldn’t even imagine how her life would change when she is introduced to Jane Forrester. Jane just got married and her husband wants her to be the typical country club wife, but she chooses to do more with her life. When she interviewed to be a social worker, she had no idea the types of people and the amount of poverty that she would be faced with on a daily basis. When she meets the Hart family, she feels a deep connection with the young girls and vows to help them, even if it costs her everything.

Necessary Lies is a poignant tale about doing what you feel is right, despite what everyone else says. This book is centered on the sterilization laws that North Carolina had in effect to prevent feeble-minded, poor people from reproducing. This subject matter is heartbreaking and could make the book a very depressing read, but Chamberlain makes sure that the characters and readers sense that feeling of hope. Chamberlain does an excellent job of demonstrating the strengths of the human spirit with each of her characters. By balancing the points of view, between twenty-two year old Jane and fifteen year old Ivy, readers will get to see the whole picture. This book is a must read for reading groups and fans Women’s Literature.


Similar Authors:

Jody Picoult, Ilie Ruby, Barbara Claypole White, Kristin Hannah


This review was written for My Sister’s Books bookstore. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.

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Leaving Tuscaloosa

By: Walter Bennett. Format: Paperback. Read: April 2013.

It is the summer of 1962 and two young men’s lives are about to change forever. Richeboux Branscomb is a young, white male who should have stayed at the dance with his girlfriend. Instead he chooses to ride with his friends into Cherrytown. Acee Waites, is a young, black male who works hard and is just trying to find time to spend with his girlfriend. He is called home, when the cops show up searching for his brother, a civil rights activist who lives with a white, northern woman. This is the journey of these two men and the dividing barrier of one’s race.

This book is a power house of emotions and actions. Walter Bennett will captivate readers with the struggles of Richeboux and Acee. Readers will feel as though they have been transported through time and space, thanks to the intricate details and accurate dialects. Told from various points-of-view, this story allows readers a chance to feel the inner turmoil of the main characters. Leaving Tuscaloosa is a superb example of Southern Literature and this book should be on every adult’s must-read list. Graphic scenes, rough language and harsh content will not be appropriate for all ages.

This book left me breathless and speechless. It is a gripping, action-packed book that provides an excellent representation of a southern community in the 1960s. Have you read Leaving Tuscaloosa? Without giving anything away, did you feel that the consequences of the main characters’ actions were justified due to the time period?


The PR representative for this book, provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about this PR company, please visit her website.

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Filed under Fiction Books, Southern Lit