Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 14th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
About the Book:
North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets. North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder. What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

Told in two timelines and with two points of view, I found this book to be totally engrossing. And although I enjoyed this book in its entirety I preferred the chapters of Anna during the late 1930's and early 1940's. I found this book intriguing on several levels: the story of the artist, Annie, and her desire to paint the mural in impossible circumstances, the relationships she develops with the people in town, and the depth of resolve that burned in her heart, I couldn't get enough.

The settings, thoughts, and characters are artfully written yet relatable. One of those rare reads that captivated early and kept me wanting more. I loved this book: the story, characters and the Diane Chamberlain's ability to craft words into such descriptive and emotional sentences....she never disappoints. I really felt bad for the character of Morgan . She did time for a crime she did not commit, yet she was there and still feels guilty a year later. This is a wonderful story of loss, love, addiction and friendship. This is a thoughtful and engaging story which is well worth the investment of time.

Thank you NetGalley, Diane Chamberlain and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.



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