BOOK CLUB: Big Lies in a Small Town

Author: Diane Chamberlain
ISBN: 9781250087331
Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan

Big Lies in a Small Town is the latest offering by American author Diane Chamberlain.   It is told in two timelines – North Carolina, USA in 1940 & 2018.

Anna Dale is a young graduate of an art school in New Jersey and is fortunate enough to have won a 48 States Mural competition to paint a mural in the southern town of Edenton, North Carolina on the post office.   This required her to become familiar with the area and select appropriate subject matter to adorn the mural. 

She hadn’t expected to win the competition and it was terrible timing for her as she had just buried her mother. She had never been down south and was not looking forward to the racism and segregation that the area was known for. However, she had no choice but to do this as she really needed the money that the prize provided.  She did not expect to find that a favourite son of the area had also entered the competition and had not been successful, so she was behind the 8 ball from the start.

Morgan Christopher was stunned to be called to a meeting with a once in a lifetime opportunity to be released from prison where she had spent months behind bars, fearing for her life daily.   She was imprisoned for a motor vehicle accident that she was innocent of which left a young girl in a wheelchair for life.  

She was offered the opportunity to restore an old mural which one of the lady’s father had and had to be hung in a brand-new gallery that was being built.   She would be paid handsomely for this task, but it had to be done by a certain date.   As she is in the process of this restoration, she learns a lot about the secrets that are hidden inside this mural and discovers a lot about herself at the same time.

This was an excellent novel, it covered so many things and gave a pretty accurate depiction of life in North Carolina and the racism that existed in this small town.  It was a real page-turner with alternating chapters about Morgan & Anna which kept you engaged from start to finish. It will appeal to readers of historical fiction & women’s fiction.  

Thank you so much to Beauty & Lace Books and Pan Macmillan for a copy of this book for review purposes.

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