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WFHM Book Club: Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

October 11, 2022 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

Join the museum staff for our Fall 2022 book club meeting. This fall, we are reading Necessary Lies: A Novel (2013) by Diane Chamberlain. Our book discussion will be held on Tuesday, October 11. To enrich our discussion, we will start the meeting with a streaming of The State of Eugenics (2017) a Reel South documentary. Both the novel and film explore the history and legacy of North Carolina’s Eugenics Sterilization Program. Registration is limited. See below for details and a link to sign up.

About the Museum’s Book Club

The museum’s book club meetings include a casual discussion with museum staff and neighbors about a work of historical fiction or nonfiction. Books typically explore local and regional history or exhibit themes. There is no obligation to participate in every book discussion. We encourage you to register for the book club meetings that most interest you. There is no obligation to participate in every book discussion, and it is okay if you haven’t finished the book by the time we meet.

About the Book

This fall, we are reading Necessary Lies: A Novel by Diane Chamberlain. 

After losing her parents, fifteen-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?

“In this powerful novel, Chamberlain peels back the disturbing truths about the eugenics sterilization program implemented in North Carolina during the 1960s…  Book groups and fans of Jodi Picoult should appreciate this work.”
—Library Journal, starred review 

“Absorbing and haunting, this should strongly touch Chamberlain’s fans and draw those who enjoy Jodi Picoult and Barbara Delinsky.”

“. . . heart-wrenching historical fiction. . . captivating. . .this engrossing novel digs deep into the moral complexity of a dark period in history and brings it to life.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A well-researched page-turner.  The stakes mount to dizzying heights . . . Chamberlain certainly knows how to escalate tension.”
—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

DIANE CHAMBERLAIN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five novels published in over fifteen languages. Her books include Big Lies in a Small Town, The Stolen Marriage and The Dream Daughter. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole.

How to Get a Copy of the Book

Books can be purchased from Page158. Please let the store know that you are participating in the museum’s book club to receive a special discount. If you are in the local area, the bookstore can deliver orders of $20 or more to these zip codes: 27587 and 27571. They also offer curbside pickup 11 am-6 pm Monday thru Saturday. Books can also be shipped to your home.

Books can also be requested through Wake County Public Libraries. WCPL also offers large print, audio, and eBook options.

414 N Main Street
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587 United States
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