Monday, March 2, 2015

Necessary Lies

“Sometimes coloring outside the lines can cost you. Only you can figure out if it’s worth it.”  

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlin is the second book that our Books & Bars Group have read by her and I would definitely recommend it! It's a great book to discuss with others as well.

The book is set 50 years ago in the past.  Jane is a newly married, newly employed social worker with Grace County.  Her husband is a pediatrician who barely humors her desire to work because it makes him feel like others will think his practice is not doing well if she 'has' to work.  He's a bit of an ass.

“All the love in the world doesn't put food on the table.”  

Jane's clients are very poor and some are not very smart.  Be that because of lack of resources or IQ.  One family, the Harts, really connects with Jane.  Her superiors want Jane to sterilize 15 year old Ivy, just like they did her older sister.  However, Jane finds out that they did not tell the girl she was being sterilized because she was a minor and her grandmother signed off on it.  Jane really struggles with putting the paperwork together to have Ivy sterilized as well since her grandmother also signed off for her to have the procedure done as well.

The book delves into the Eugenics Program and the forced sterilization of tons of North Carolina girls and women and men.  Many poor and black.  Is it right to sterilize a 17 year old girl without her knowing? Is it okay to sterilize people that are on welfare? Who gets to decide? It also shows the beginning of the change when women started choosing to work instead of automatically staying home.  About putting a career in front of 'just being a wife.'

“They're threatened by you,' she said. 'You chose to do something they'd never have the gumption to choose for themselves. Being their own person.”  

A great fast paced thought provoking read.

Have you read this book? Have you read any others by Diane Chamberlin? Do you think it is okay to sterilize people without their knowledge?

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