Sunday 29 December 2019

Book ~ "Big Lies in a Small Town" (2019) Diane Chamberlain

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? 

North Carolina, 1940
Anna Dale's mother has just passed away when she wins a national contest to paint a mural for a post office in Edenton, a small town in North Carolina.  She moves temporarily from New Jersey to Edenton to get to know the town and do the mural justice.  A couple high school students help her out for credits and experience.  One is black and the small town's prejudices don't approve.  Plus a local artist had entered the contest and Anna was chosen over him, so there is some resentment.

North Carolina, 2018
Morgan has just spent a year in a woman's prison when she is made an offer she can't refuse.  She has been chosen by one of her favourite painters to restore a mural for the gallery his estate is opening.  Not know anything about restoration or why she was chosen as the late painter's latest project, she agrees so she can be released early from prison.  As she starts cleaning up the mural, which Anna Dale had painted, Morgan discovers some disturbing things that have been painted on it and wants to know what happened to Anna.

I've read many books by this author and liked this one.  I liked the writing style and found the story interesting.  It bounces around in the two different time periods and voices but the chapters are marked as to what the time period is and whose voice it is. It is written in first person perspective from Morgan's point of view and third person when it's Anna's point of view.  I liked the characters.  As a head's up, there is some swearing and violence.

No comments: