Friday, January 24, 2020

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Big Lies in a Small Town: A Novel by [Chamberlain, Diane]
Welcome!  Game of Bones by Erin Johnson is out today.  It is the third tale in the Magic Market MysteriesStatue of Limitations by Kate Collins is the debut of A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery series and it will be out on January 28 along with Playing the Devil by R.J. Lee.  Is there an upcoming book you are looking forward to reading?  I am always looking for new books and authors.
30 small towns to visit this summer Edenton, North Carolina
Downtown Edenton, North Carolina
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain takes us on a journey to Edenton, North Carolina.  Anna Dale receives a letter on December 4, 1939 stating that she was one of the winners for forty-eight states mural competition.  She did not, though, get her own hometown of Bordentown, New Jersey.  Anna is to produce the portrait for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina.  She travels to Edenton to research the town and finds herself in a different world.  The town expected their own local artist to win the competition and some people are quite put out that Anna did not step down.  The local bigwigs have certain ideas for the mural that they do not hesitate to share with Anna.  Anna begins working on the mural and soon learns that gossip travels quickly in the small town.  Prejudices are strong, there are secrets a plenty and being different is not appreciated.  
U.S. Post Office- Edenton,North Carolina
Edenton Post Office
Morgan Christopher is serving time for a crime she did not commit in 2018.  After serving a year of her sentence, Morgan gets two visitors who present her with an offer that would get her out of jail.  Morgan must restore a post office mural from 1940 within two months for the opening of a gallery.  Morgan was studying art at college when her life took a downturn, but she does not a thing about restoration.  She is not going to pass up this opportunity and Morgan is counting on research to aid her (after all, that’s what internet is for).  As Morgan removes the grime from the canvas, the images are slowly revealed.  They are not what anyone expected.  People say the artist went mad, but Morgan believes there is another answer.  She wonders why the completed mural was never installed in the post office and what happened to the artist who created it.  Morgan begins searching for answers to her questions when not working on the large and unusual mural.  Can Morgan complete the restoration in time?  What will happen if she is not up to the task?
Edenton NC Teapot Garden Party  The 1905 Bronze Teapot now covered in a Verdigris patina perched on the edge of the Chowan County Courthouse Green.  A memorial to commemorate the 1774 protest location where Mrs. Elizabeth King and the Ladies of Edenton met to protest the tax that the British had placed on Tea.  A prettier little Southern town you would be hard pressed to find.  Art by Janine Riley #edentonnc #edeontonteapot  #teapot #edentonnorthcarolina #chowancounty #albemarlesound
Edenton Tea Pot
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain is an intriguing story.  I like how the story is laid out in the two different timelines.  As Morgan Christopher works on the mural, we get to follow Anna as she works on creating it.  It was interesting learning about the mural competition along with what it took to create a mural and restore one.  This is the first novel I have read by Diane Chamberlain and it will not be my last.  I thought it was well-written with developed characters and a lovely, Southern setting.  The descriptions allowed me to imagine the setting and the characters.  I could picture the small Southern town with its “powerful” men (to me they were overweight men who were indulging the little lady) and uptight ladies who did not appreciate Anna’s unique artistic ways.  I felt for Morgan who took the rap for a crime she did not commit because love led her astray.  I thought the author captured the feel of the south in the 1940s.  I found it humorous how scandalized people were when Anna wore trousers.  I liked the two mysteries in the story.  We wonder what happened to Anna and why was Morgan chosen to restore the mural.  I became engrossed in the story because I was eager to learn the answers.  There is some offensive language along with violence (murder, violence against a female) as well as racism and alcoholism (so you are forewarned).  I enjoyed how it all came together in the end (just as I hoped it would).  Big Lies in a Small Town was a fascinating story with an ending that did not disappoint.  
Post office mural of First Flight in Williamston, NC
Williamston, North Carolina--A WPA Post Office Mural
Big Lies in a Small Town can be purchased here*.  You can find a list of Diane Chamberlain's other novels here on Amazon.  To learn more about the WPA The 48 States Competition, check out this site. Thank you for stopping by today. I hope that you have an entertaining day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
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