Friday 13 September 2013

The First Lie by Diane Chamberlain

It's 1958 in rural North Carolina, where thirteen-year-old Ivy Hart 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. But everything changes when Ivy's teenage sister gives birth, refusing to reveal the identity of the baby's father. Soon Ivy finds herself unravelling a dark web of family secrets and trying to make sense of her ever-evolving life in the segregated South.

This is just a short review as this was a short novella.

The First Lie is the short story prequel to Necessary Lies and I was luck to win this from a fellow book blogger.

At 36 pages this was an incredibly quick read, but it briefly introduces us to the characters of Necessary Lies. Here we meet 13 year old Ivy and are introduced to her world. Even though this is a short read, Diane Chamberlain writes in such a way that you are instantly absorbed into the characters worlds. In these few short pages you learn enough to know about the Hart family and you begin to speculate what the secrets could be in Necessary Lies.

The atmosphere and suspense in this was crafted incredibly well for a novella and it is readable in one sitting. The setting for the time was also set perfectly and in that short time the reader gets the feeling for 1950's America. The character development is obviously minimal in this, but you learn enough about them to gain an understanding.

Definitely as I was reading this, I knew that something was being held back. There was some cryptic dialogue surrounding Mary Ella's birth and I am now very keen to read Necessary Lies.


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