ARC Review Book Review

ARC Book Review: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Title: Big Lies in a Small Town
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published On: January 14, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 400

Synopsis: North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets. 

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder. 

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

My thoughts

Big Lies in a Small Town was my second Diane Chamberlain book to read. I was fairly confident I would enjoy it, and I was right. My favorite historical fiction are those that take real events or people and create stories around them. Diane does an excellent job fleshing out the characters, the setting, and the plot. Sometimes having two different timelines within a book can become confusing and leave me disinterested, but the opposite happened with this story. The alternating timelines were brief but informative, urging me to keep turning pages. I loved how the story was slowly revealed through both timelines, but I was actually more intrigued by the story of Morgan, the character in the present timeline, which was a surprise. If you’re a fan of historical fiction or Diane Chamberlain, you will not want to miss this one!

I received an advance copy through Netgalley from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Have you read Big Lies in a Small Town? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

7 thoughts on “ARC Book Review: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain”

    1. Oh yay! I’m so glad you liked it too. This was my second historical fiction read from her, and I really enjoyed the other one, as well. It was called The Stolen Marriage. 🙂

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