Image of Necessary Lies


Image of Necessary Lies

It’s always refreshing to read about two cultures that clash and then become appreciative of each other’s differences. The prejudices in this novel are indicative of the time period, the 1960s, but may still be hard for readers to digest. Though most of us are familiar with the past injustices revolving around Jim Crow laws, it can sometimes be disconcerting to read firsthand accounts of what took place. Nevertheless, this tale is a good read, though it starts off very slowly.

Ivy Hart is a poor black child faced with the task of caring for a mentally ill older sister, an infant nephew and an elderly grandmother. Though she has dreams of getting married and leaving her small town in North Carolina, she fears leaving her family to fend for themselves. On the other side of town is Jane Forrester, a newly married doctor’s wife who refuses to be a stay-at-home mother and seeks to make a difference in the world. Jane becomes a social worker, against the advice of her husband and mother, and ventures into the low-class area where Ivy and her family reside. Despite their vast differences, the wealthy white woman and the poor black girl attempt to find common ground. (ST. MARTIN’S, Sep., 352 pp., $26.99)
Reviewed by: 
B. Nakia Garner