Big Lies in a Small Town

“You have to make peace with the past or you can never move into the future.”

Thank you St. Martins Press for gifting me an advanced copy of Diane Chamberlain’s newest novel BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN.

“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 demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?”

What a unique story this was! I was enamored with all of the characters and anxiously read through this dual narrative page-turner trying to piece together what happened to Anna Dale.

It was heartbreakingly beautiful and I couldn’t put it down. I was invested in the welfare of each character while rooting for Morgan Christopher and Anna Dale as they struggled to overcome their internal grief.

I love historical fiction but I also love a good mystery and BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN had a little bit of both genres which made it even more enjoyable for me to read. Chamberlain quite literally painted an incredible portrait of the lives of the characters in the small town of Edenton, North Carolina. I was left on the edge of my seat, completely breathless on more than one occasion. Also, I found the descriptions of the mural to be captivating. As Morgan Christopher restored each brushstroke of Anna Dale’s mural, I could picture the incredible piece of work coming back to life. How extraordinary it would be to have the opportunity to restore a mural like the one depicted in this book.

I would like to give a trigger warning; there is a fairly graphic rape scene portrayed in chapter 46.

Thank you to Diane Chamberlain and William Morrow Books for gifting me an advanced copy of this book to read.

BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN will be published on January 14, 2020.

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