Review: Big Lies in a Small Town

Review: Big Lies in a Small Town

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain is an historical fiction with a mysterious twist. The book is told from the perspectives of two interesting characters set in the same small town, but in different timelines. It is an engaging story that explores many themes and will surprise the reader at the end.

Review: Big Lies in a Small TownTitle: Big Lies in a Small Town
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 14, 2020

five-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃


Review: Big Lies in a Small Town

Both Anna and Morgan are characters that are intriguing to read about. Morgan is a young adult who is struggling with many issues, including trying to discover who she is in 2018. In contrast, Anna is a confident young artist in 1940 dealing with a small town who is not ready for her feminism. As the story unfolds, these two perspectives give a gripping look at women’s lives in juxtaposing timelines.

❀ Relevant Issues

Each of the timelines deal with issues that are relevant and important today. Topics such as racism, substance abuse, and mental illness are explored in the novel, and at times can be quite shocking. Also, the fact that the story spans almost 80 years is a real eye opener.

❀ Page-Turning Mystery

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the story is the mysterious canvas that Morgan is restoring. The way art ties the whole book together, and creates a mystery surrounding Anna and her life creates a real page-turner. It becomes a connection that ties everything together.

❀ Interesting Twist

Big Lies in a Small Town is a book that will satisfy many readers. It has a bit of everything, including an interesting twist at the end. This is the first Diane Chamberlain novel that I have read and I am excited to try more of her work. A perfect read for the start of a new year.

About Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain

DIANE CHAMBERLAIN is the bestselling author of more than twenty novels published in over eleven languages. Her books include The First Lie, Her Mother's Shadow, The Good Father, and Kiss River. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Cole.

17 thoughts on “Review: Big Lies in a Small Town

  1. Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse says:

    I really need to give this author a try. I keep seeing reviews for her books and I’m always interested in them. This one especially calls to me. I love small town settings and this mystery sounds interesting!

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