Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Big Lies In A Small Town” by Diane Chamberlain, St. Martin’s Press, January 14, 2020
Diane Chamberlain, author of “Big Lies In a Small Town” has written a captivating, intriguing, suspenseful, intense and thought-provoking novel. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Suspense and Mystery. The story takes place in North Carolina, and there are two different time-lines 1940 and 2019. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated.
In the present, Morgan Christopher is in prison for a crime that she is not directly responsible for. She has a short time left on her sentence when she has 2 visitors make her an offer that is hard to refuse. Morgan has to restore a painting of a mural that an artist, Anna Dale had created in 1940 to go be placed in the Post Office.
Morgan really knows nothing of art restoration but is given funds for materials, and is free from prison. The mural that Anna Dale had painted is in terrible shape and is dirty and first requires cleaning. There is a mystery as to what had happened to Anna Dale. There are rumors and secrets in this town, but it seems that she just disappeared.
The visitors that came to the prison are an attorney and the daughter of a well known black artist, who is now deceased but has given generous opportunities to other North Carolina artists. In order for this artist’s daughter to get her inheritance, the mural must be finished by a certain date. How is Morgan Christopher going to be able to accomplish this? What is the importance of this mural, and who and where is Anna Dale?
I appreciate that the author discusses how prejudice, dark secrets, rumors can destroy. Diane Chamberlain is an amazing writer and storyteller and vividly describes the mysterious artistic clues. Also mentioned is the importance of communication, self-worth, love, and hope. I would highly recommend this wonderful thought-provoking novel to readers who like to ponder, question and think.