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