The First Lie gives readers an early glimpse into the life of thirteen-year-old Ivy Hart. It's 1958 in rural North Carolina, where Ivy lives with her grandmother and sister on a tobacco farm. As tenant farmers, Ivy and her family don't have much freedom, though she and her best friend, Henry, often sneak away in search of adventure...and their truest selves. But life on the farm takes a turn when Ivy's teenage sister gives birth—all the while maintaining her silence about the baby's father. Soon Ivy finds herself navigating the space between adolescence and adulthood as she tries to unravel a dark web of family secrets and make sense of her ever-evolving life in the segregated South.
Advance praise for Diane Chamberlain's Necessary Lies:
"It will steal your heart."—Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals
"An emotional powerhouse." —Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House Memories
"Enthralling...[it] transfixed me from the very first pages, and its vivid and sympathetic characters haunted me long after the last."—Christina Schwarz, New York Times bestselling author of Drowning Ruth
As seventeen-year-old Riley MacPherson rushes to the side of her brother who has been gravely injured in Iraq, she recalls their growing up years when he was her protector and best friend. Why did that relationship fall apart? She longs for a second chance to connect with her brother, not realizing that family secrets may prevent them from ever having that closeness again.
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?