Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Updated: Mar 3
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Anna never realized how bad the prejudices were between the North and South
North Carolina 1940 - the USA government had established a national mural contest where 48 artists would be awarded a chance at painting a huge mural to hang in each states post office. With nary a chance Anna Dale from New Jersey was picked as one of the winners and though her submission was of a mural based on New Jersey she was selected to create a mural for Edenton NC. Anna didn’t realize that prejudices ran deep and secrets were those that could end a life.
Present day - North Carolina - After taking the fall for a crime she didn’t commit Morgan Christopher’s life was totally derailed. Her dream of being an artist had been put on hold until a mysterious visitor came to visit her at the correctional woman’s Institute. If she accepts the offer given to her to restore an old post office mural she would be released immediately. Knowing nothing about art restoration but desperate to get out of jail she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting of madness, violence and small town secret conspiracy’s.
OMG - What a marvelous read this was!
Not that I didn’t expect it from the pen of Ms Chamberlain however, I am always amazed with the depth and genius of the subject matter she creates her stories from. Both Anna and Morgan were fully fleshed out and had similar dysfunctional type of backgrounds. Anna possibly a little less than Morgan who thought by saving her boyfriend she had finally found someone who cared about her.
Anna’s story was much more of dealing with Southern prejudices towards colored folks that had not been quite so bad in New Jersey. The powers to be in that town had sent Anna helpers but the one who stood out, having extreme raw talent was Jesse. Anna had to champion him and convince him to continue school to develop his innate talent. Unfortunately the small mindedness of the population interpreted her interest as something else.
When so many years later Morgan arrived to restore Anna's mural she was astounded by the sheer madness the mural conveyed. What had happened to the artist who held such amazing talent that had turned a mural into a depiction of insanity and horror? With flashbacks and some super sleuthing Morgan, whose freedom depended on finishing the project, worked tirelessly to restore and discover the secret of Anna’s disappearance!
Stunning read and a marvelous mystery!