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Search tags: Diane-Chamberlain
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review 2018-07-11 16:59
The Stolen Marriage
The Stolen Marriage - Diane Chamberlain
I absolutely loved this novel. I loved all the historical elements the novel held in it, the twists and turns, the characters and I especially loved how Tess tried to maintain who she was, with all the excitement that was happening in her world. Right from the beginning, the novel took off and it continued right to the very end, there was never a lull. Rich in the history, laden with fantastic characters and situated in an area where favoritism happened on many levels.
 
The year was 1944 and 23-year-old Tess went on a trip with her best friend, Gina. Once they reached their destination, the plans had been changed and the two friends, headed out for dinner. Tess and Gina had quite the night, Tess’s behavior was unlike her normal studious, conscious self. Tess finds herself pregnant, her fiance, Vincent is not the father. That one-night out has changed everything.
 
Locating the father of her baby, Tess agrees to marry him as that would be the proper thing to do for her baby. Vincent is no longer in the picture but Tess thinks of him constantly. Immediately, Tess seems to forget what her needs are and as Henry starts to take control of the situation, I am fearful of what might occur. Tess feels she can fit into his rich, strict family but when we meet Henry’s mother and the rest of the community, I think Tess has bitten off more than she can chew. Tess has a big heart and I loved how she didn’t fall into her role but rather she tried to maintain who she was and she saw individuals for who they were. Their marriage is strange, his family is unusual, the only people I, myself, feel comfortable with, are working in the kitchen and I think Tess feels this too. When polio hits the region, Tess feels the need to do her part and when she stood up strong, I was cheering for her.
 
The novel is filled with wonderful emotional moments: there were times that I was smiling, laughing, angry, frustrated and yes, times where tears were escaping from my eyes. Where would this novel end as Tess battles her way through Hickory? Excellent historical fiction novel that I highly recommend.

 

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review 2018-02-03 18:26
Necessary Lies ★★★★☆
Necessary Lies - Diane Chamberlain

My first Diane Chamberlain book, and it won’t be my last. I’m looking forward to going through her backlist, despite my resolutions to read more new releases.  I’m not sure how to characterize the story, though. It doesn’t necessarily have a traditional plot and story arc. It’s more character and situation driven, with the reader discovering (and for me, feeling both horrified and unsurprised by) 1960’s social work and eugenics programs along with a naïve but determined young woman. And these discoveries parallel her own realization of how little personal autonomy she has, once she has married and is expected to give up control of her desires, career, brains, opinions, appearance, and reproductive system to her husband. And to do it cheerfully.

 

It’s an interesting and realistic story, somewhat spoiled by a 

happily ever after kind of ending.

(spoiler show)

Although many readers might not consider that a flaw.

 

Audiobook, via Audible, with an excellent performance by Alison Elliot.

 

 

Previous Updates:

1/12/18 – 11%

1/13/18 – 18%

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text 2018-01-13 13:37
Necessary Lies - 18%
Necessary Lies - Diane Chamberlain

Amazing to read of a truly compassionate social worker speaking of trying to bend the rules to get her client into the eugenics program - at the client's request - because she's 33 and can barely manage with the five children she already has. This is 1960, the year that oral contraceptives were first approved by the FDA, and sterilization is the only truly reliable birth control available to poor people. Then in the same chapter, read about that same client begging that same social worker not to enroll her legally blind son in the same program, and the social worker agreeing to put it off for another year, but worried that he's old enough to start making babies. And neither one are arguing against the morality or rightness of forced sterilization of a poor black boy because he has a congenital disability, but only worrying that he's too young and shouldn't have to face the pain of surgery yet. 

 

 

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text 2018-01-12 13:27
Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
Necessary Lies - Diane Chamberlain

It's so hard to believe that there was a time when a physician could decide to withhold birth control from his patient until he discussed it with her husband and obtained the husband's consent. But I know it's true - I've heard the stories. And some people talk about the 1950s-1960's as though they were the "good old days"!

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review 2017-11-02 00:00
The Stolen Marriage
The Stolen Marriage - Diane Chamberlain Loved it so much
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