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Big Lies in a Small Town

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  79,515 ratings  ·  6,519 reviews
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 pos ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
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 ·  79,515 ratings  ·  6,519 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Refined, impressive, effective story-telling and adroitly, meticulously developed two amazing characters and their lyrically interwind stories. I’m giving my historical, provocative, stunning four stars for this intriguing journey!

Two artists from different timelines, suffering from the life choices they made because they cannot control them. Two voices shout at us their heart-wrenching stories and want us listen to them. So let’s hear them out, turning the pages to learn more about those amazin
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, my-favorites, arcs
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

Another terrific read from Diane Chamberlain!!!

2018 - Morgan Christopher is starting her second summer in the North Carolina Correctional Facility. Morgan is surprised when she is told that two women are there to see her. She normally doesn't receive visitors. Lisa Williams and Andrea Fuller introduce themselves and get right to the point.

“Andrea and I are here to offer you a way out of this place”.

Lisa and Andrea ask Mo
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Diane Chamberlain writes a compulsive and gripping novel that skillfully weaves the stories of two women from the past and the present. In 2018, 22 year old Morgan Christopher is serving a prison sentence at the North Carolina Correctional Facility in Raleigh for a crime she did not commit. Out of the blue, she receives a visit from Lisa Williams, whose father, the artist Jesse Jameson, has recently died and the lawyer, Andrea Fuller. He left behind a will in which he makes it clear that he want ...more
***In August 2019, we moved to the Anson area and I didn't realize, at the time I wrote this review, that our little post office has one of these murals. The link below will take you to it. The artist even snuck a bottle of moonshine into the mural 😁


In 1940, young Anna Dale wins a contest to paint a mural for the Edenton, NC post office. Twenty two years old and fleeing the heartbreak of her mom's very recent death, Anna throws herself into the job of desi
Mary Beth
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing

🎉🎉Five Bright Shiny Stars🎉🎉

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 desperat
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This is only the second novel that I have read by Ms. Chamberlain. This book is quite different from “The Dream Daughter” which involved time travel and a woman’s decision about the fate of her unborn child. What this book shares with the previous book that I read is a dual timeline once again and strong character development. I would classify this more as a mystery with a very unique story. I found the flow to be wonderful and it was ea
Elyse Walters
NO SPOILERS....only descriptive teasers...

Diane Chamberlain knows what a good story is about. She continues to arrive at new levels of power with each of her novels being more impressive than the one before.
A very loved novelist by readers all around the world....I, too, became an instant giddy fan in 2014, when I read “Necessary Lies”. The story itself was a punch-in-the-gut explosive historical awakening.
Having now read about a half dozen more of her novels....what stands out for me is Diane
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain is a 2020 St. Martin’s Press publication.

Another example of why Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors!

I am always intrigued by stories centered around art. I have zero talent in that department, so I marvel at those who do. As you can imagine, this story grabbed my attention right away.

The story is built around three artists:

Jessie Jameson Williams- who, upon his death, sets in motion a series of events that will merge the past with the
Angela M (On a little break)
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve read several of the over two dozen novels that Diane Chamberlain has written. I can’t say I loved them all as much as Necessary Lies, but in my view, it’s unquestionable after reading them, that Chamberlain knows how to tell a story.

Almost eighty years separates the alternating narratives of two women artists. Anna Dale’s is told in the third person and her story takes place in 1939 in the small town of Edenton, NC, where she travels to from New Jersey. Anna has won a national contest to p
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Dream Daughter was my first read by Diane Chamberlain. I was completely hooked on that book and couldn’t put it down. Once Big Lies in a Small Town came out, I had to give it a try, and I’m elated because I was totally engrossed in this story. It consumed my weekend. What a page-turner!

This story is told from two different points of view alternating between 1940 and 2018. We have Morgan, a young girl who’s been serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. Surprisingly, she catches a break after s
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got interested in this novel beacuse of the mention of mural art. The city where I live has become known to its murals on the walls of tenement houses and they always draw my attention whenever I get around the city. Also, I associate murals with the American culture, and I thought that a novel which has this art as the central point must be interesting. And I was not wrong.
I am not a fan of dual timeline, however, with this novel it went smoothly for me. The stories of two young women, Anna
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Big lies in a small town is the story of two women born in different times dealing with issues which are beyond their control. Each woman will have her challenges and her triumphs. Each will be tested, and each will have to prove herself.

North Carolina, 2018 Morgan Christopher was an art student who made a bad judgement call and ended up serving time in a women's correctional center for a crime she did not commit. Then one day she is visited by two women who tell her that she will be released fr
Berit Talks Books
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Diane Chamberlain has done it again! What a fantastic book! This really is storytelling at its absolute best. Two equally compelling storylines woven seamlessly together. 2018 Morgan is in a North Carolina prison convicted of a crime she did not commit. When she is approached with an opportunity to get out of jail if she is willing to restore a 70-year-old mural, she jumped at the chance. The only problem is Morgan is not certain she has the skill set to do the restoration and there is a time cr ...more
Peter (on semi hiatus and trying to catch up)
Big Lies in a Small Town is a stunning story full of mystery, opportunity and loss. It is emotionally absorbing from beginning to end with enthralling secrets and puzzles that maintain a great momentum without dropping gear. The story is told over two time periods from the perspective of two young female artists, Anna Dale in 1940 and Morgan Christopher in 2018.

Morgan is serving a sentence in North Carolina Correctional Facility for a drunk driving crime she took the blame for, to save
Irena BookDustMagic
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Diane Chamberlain was on my "authors I'd like to read" for a while now because Nicole from GirlyGirlBookWorm really likes her, and us two have the similar taste in books.

This was my first read by this writer, but it surely won't be the last, because I really liked Big Lies in a Small Town.

The story follows two time lines: one set in 1940 and the second set in today's time.
This book made me realize that I actually enjoy reading books with two different time lines, and I will try to add more novel
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Well, that is some mighty fine, creative writing here by one of my favourite authors. I loved this one!!

Big Lies is a Small Town did start off a little slow for me and I was feeling a bit worried that I wasn't quite getting where the story was going here by almost halfway. I was intrigued but at first, felt like I was being strung along a bit. Then I reminded myself that I have nothing to worry about because this is Diane Chamberlain. Well, well my patience was rewarded and around the middle of
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up to 5 Stars.

This book landed on my radar via a NetGalley email. What's more, it has a bit of a personal connection. In my hometown we have one of those huge murals depicting important highlights in our city like St. Mary's RC Church with a flock of walking nuns astride it. Unlike the murals spoken about in this book that adorn post office walls, it instead hangs in a bank. I always enjoyed drinking in its history each time I waited in line to perform my banking transactions. I had
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4+ stars!

A suspenseful and captivating mystery set in a small town.

Told in the dual narratives of 1940 and 2018, the two main characters, Anna and Morgan are young artists looking to find their way. Before finishing a mural project for the small town of Edenton, Anna goes missing in 1940. Almost 80 years later, Morgan is asked to restore the unfinished mural project so it can be hung in a local art exhibit. Little does Morgan know the hidden secrets she will find while researching and restoring
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended, audible
Storytelling is a talent and Diane Chamberlain sure must have been at the front of the queue when God was doling out talents.

A beautifully written, intriguing page turner that was extremely difficult to put down.
Great characters, suspenseful and compelling Plot and a book that draws the reader in right from the start.

I took the advice of a fellow reader and purchased this one on audible and it was flawless.
Big Lies in a Small Town, is a sweeping novel about two women connected by a painting t
Holly  B

A slow burn of a mystery set in North Carolina.

Two women- Morgan and Anna

Two timelines-2018 and 1940

The plot switches between timelines (then/now) and follows the two women as they are connected by a painting/mural project that they are both working on in different capacities.

The first half of the book was slow going and a bit bogged down in the painting project details (in my opinion). There are plenty of clues that may lead you to solve the big reveal and predict the end as I did.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Diane Chamberlain is a prolific author, but I’ve only read a handful of her books. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed them. In this story, we have Morgan Christopher serving prison time for a crime she didn’t commit when she’s offered a “get out of jail free” card. She’s been picked to restore a 1939 mural, designed for the Edenton post office but never hung. What makes it problematic is that despite being an artist, she has no experience with art restoration and the two things are really totally d ...more
Thank you, Diane Chamberlain, for pulling me out of my two-month book slump. Big Lies in a Small Town is an intriguing read. It’s set in small-town Edenton, North Carolina, in dual timelines—1940 and 2018. Both narrators are artists, Anna Dale and Morgan Christopher. Morgan is under a tight deadline to restore a 58-year-old mural, originally painted by Anna, for an art gallery opening. The plot is rich, very rich. This is not an action-packed, fast moving novel. It takes its time, but I thought ...more
Another wonderful story from one of my favourite authors. I just love her storytelling and unique plots.

This one is a dual timeline that alternates from 1940 small town North Carolina to 2018. In 1940, Anna is an artist from New Jersey who wins a government contest to draw a post office mural in a small town called Edenton in North Carolina. She finds some resistance from the folks there who feel that a local artist should have been given the honour to paint their mural. Before the mural can be
Larry H
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars.

Is Diane Chamberlain's newest novel, Big Lies in a Small Town , worth all of the buzz it's been getting? Simple answer? Heck, yeah!

Morgan Christopher has seen better days. Once an aspiring artist, she’s serving a prison term for a crime she didn’t commit. And then one day, she gets offered an unbelievable opportunity, and her life changes again.

A legendary artist whose work she admired stipulated in his will that Morgan must be hired to restore an historic WWII-era
Chelsea Humphrey
I think that fans of historical fiction with a touch of mysterious atmosphere will enjoy this one much more than I did. HF is very hit or miss for me, and while I found the outcome to be a bit predictable, Diane's writing is so engaging and entertaining that I can see why this story is a favorite of many readers already. Highly recommend that you give this one a try if it's on your radar, and if HF with dual narratives is your jam.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Told in alternating timelines..the story of two artists.
1939-Anna Dale, from New Jersey -a young graduate from a fine arts school, has won a contest to create a mural for a post office in Edenton, North Carolina.
2018 -Morgan Christopher a young artist out on early parole from North Carolina Correctional Facility for Women, specifically to restore the mural that Anna painted in 1940 that was ruined in some mysterious happening.

The novel is part mystery, romance, and also includes the racial clima

Love the story....Love the two main characters that alternate between 1940 and 2018 every other chapter....Love the secondary characters....and absolutely Love the ending!

We have good, we have evil and we have a subtle love connection....but oh the secrets hiding within a mural in process of restoration....so cool. Even though I could see some of them coming, no matter....this terrific novel has been added to my 2019 favorites shelf.

In the acknowl

Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Diane Chamberlain has written an excellent historical mystery centred around a 12 by 6 foot mural, the artist who painted it in 1940 and the young artist commissioned to restore it in 2018.

In 1940, Anna Dale, a young woman from New Jersey won a national competition to paint a mural for a post office. Edenton, the town she was assigned in North Carolina was very different from her home town with narrow minded regarding racial discrimination and how women should act and dress. At first she is welc
ReadAlongWithSue [Catching-Up]

Yep, yep, yep, yeppers.

This authors books I’ve been reading like......forever.

I’m so intrigued with this plot. I’ve read books that peel away layers and layers revealing things slowly like an onion, but to see a painting being restored and cleaned and revelations being revealed, I was glued.

As most (if not all) Diane Chamberlain’s fans know, she’s a talent to be reckoned with as she can take a reader into her story and we don’t come out to breath until the final page has been read. That’s how
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve been anointed into the Chamberlain world. I feel like fireworks should be going off.
This is a Fascinating mystery told in parallel from 2 artists perspective. One who painted a mural for a town post office in 1940; and one who has been released from jail to restore it in 2018.
But as the picture of the mural unfolds, it is peppered with blood, a hammer, a motorcycle that doesn’t make sense in this quiet and secretive town the mural is supposed to represent.
Chamberlain twists a story in many
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Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 28 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed ...more

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For those of us with a taste for it, historical fiction scratches an itch that no other genre can quite reach. By crossing the wires of...
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“You have to make peace with the past or you can never move into the future,” 6 likes
“Perhaps now that she'd told the story, it would lose its power over her. She hoped she would never have to repeat it to anyone ever again.” 1 likes
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