Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

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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About the Author: 

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed doctor’s appointment with nothing more than a pad, a pen, and an idea. She was instantly hooked.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia. She received her master’s degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, she was a hospital social worker in both San Diego and Washington, D.C, and a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia, working primarily with adolescents.

More than two decades ago, Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which changed the way she works: She wrote two novels using voice recognition software before new medication allowed her to get back to typing. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she’s able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy travel schedule.

Diane lives in North Carolina with her significant other, photographer John Pagliuca, and their odd but lovable Shetland Sheepdog, Cole

Author's Website.


Another great novel by Diane Chamberlain. I have only read a handful of Chamberlain's books but this is a must read. Written beautifully between two era's (past - 1940 & present), we follow two main characters throughout this novel - Morgan (present) & Anna (past). Once I picked up this book it was very hard to put down. I was drawn in from the very beginning. It was a book I wish could have went on a little longer, I wasn't ready to part with these two. 

Morgan has been asked to restore a mural that was painted by a young artist in 1939. This is Morgan's get out of jail free card after a DUI. Morgan is an artist but has no idea how to restore paintings but she takes the other and learns so much about the original artist along the way. A retelling of history where a young women who competes with male artists wins a contest to paint a mural for a small town. Anna is a beautiful young lady trying to make a name for herself as an artist. Anna is strong willed and will not let people bully her or her students that she has helping her with the mural. 

The history of this mural is one that will stay with the read long after you are finished reading this novel. Chamberlain combines mystery, racism, bullying, friendship and love to make this an unforgettable tale.

I give this book a 5 stars. 
~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. *~


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