Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
“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?”
January 14th, 2020
Diane Chamberlain is one of my very favorite authors and I always highly anticipate her new book publications. Her 2018 release, The Dream Daughter, ranks as one of my favorite books ever (you can read my full review HERE) and was a tough act to follow.
So it totally made my week when I was recently sent an advanced readers copy of her upcoming 2020 release, Big Lies in a Small Town and I just couldn’t resist reading it right away!
Chamberlain is gifted at writing engaging and compelling novels that tackle tough topics with such awareness of others. Her topics are thought-provoking and always cause great self-reflection for myself as the reader. Chamberlain’s vividly detailed plotlines and multifaceted characters bring you inside the story and you can feel the emotions of the characters she shares. In Big Lies in a Small Town, Chamberlain shares a dual narrative as well as a past and present timeline with ease.
She introduces us to the worlds of Morgan Christopher and Anna Dale and the events who made and changed them. I don’t know how she does it, but I can connect personally with every one of her characters, even if our lives and worlds are so different. There are many “heavier” themes including alcoholism, sexual assault, racial issues of the 1940s, and many family secrets which she handles both sensitively and eloquently.
Not only does she make you feel but she makes you think when reading her novels. I really enjoyed reading this one but I kept thinking about it long after I was finished which is the sign of a great book for me.
While You Wait…Here Are Some of my Diane Chamberlain Favorites!
I highly recommend adding this to your winter reading list and in the meantime, catch up on some of Chamberlain many other amazing reads, there are so many to choose from!
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of Big Lies in a Small Town. All opinions are my own.