Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Book Review: Big Lies In A Small Town by Diane Chamberlain 


2018
Morgan Christopher is twenty-two years old and in jail for a crime that she is not guilty of. 
She had dreams to escape the confines of her alcoholic parents home and persue a career in art, but that was put on hold on one tragic night when her life would change forever.
Serving a year into her sentence, she one day gets a visitor; a woman by the name  of Lisa Williams, whose father was artist Jesse Jameson, who passed away recently.
Lisa tells Morgan that her father's will specified that Morgan would be able to be released from jail early on the proviso that she restores an old post office mural in the small Southern town of Edenton. 
Morgan is hesitant initially, but it isn't long before she agrees, as Jesse was one of her favourite artists, and she is soon released from jail.
But the job she must complete is difficult, given the mural's age and condition, not to mention the deadline as it must be ready before the opening of an art gallery.
When Morgan begins cleaning off the layers of grime, she soon discovers that the painting has a story of its own - one of madness, violence and secrets...

1940
Anna Dale is a young artist, originally from New Jersey, who moves to Edenton when she wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton.
Her mother has just recently passed away, and she is desperate for work, so accepts the position.
However, it isn't long before she finds out that the residents of Edenton have a lot of secrets to hide, and not everyone is happy about having Anna in their town, particularly the males.
Prejudice and accusations soon appear in Anna's world, and one day both she and the mural disappear...

So what ever happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues to her fate trapped in the layers of the mural? You will need to read the book to find out!

The story is told in alternating chapters, and flows beautifully between the two timelines.
I loved how it unraveled slowly to build up the characters development, and Diane does a great job of handling the heavy issues in the story in a gentle and sensitive manner.
I would definitely recommend this as I enjoyed the elements of mystery and both of the two main female characters. 


Big Lies In A Small Town has an RRP of $29.99 and is available through PanMacmillan Australia.
Thanks to PanMacmillan for an ARC.

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