Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain, Susan Bennett (Narrator)
Published January 14th 2020 by Macmillan Audio, St. Martin’s Press
I loved this story. The dual timelines were both equally interesting and meshed together so well. I am not going to repeat the blurb about this book because it gives just enough information to intrigue a reader. I will say that the character development was exceptional. I loved learning about both Anna and Morgan. Both these women had the odds stacked against them, but were able to overcome them to become strong, passionate women. Anna lived in a time where women were second class citizens, especially artists, but she proved that she had talent. I loved that she also wanted to nurture young people who had talent, to develop those skills and she encouraged them to do so. Morgan had been released from prison to complete the job she was hired for. She had to overcome the stigma of being a convict as well as an alcoholic. She develops some good relationships with people she comes in contact with that will change her life. The setting of Edenton was interesting. It was a small southern town with all the prejudices, culture and expectations that often come with it. The secondary characters also played very important roles in this book and I learned just enough about them to develop opinions and care about most of them. This was a very well-written story that gripped me right from the beginning and held my interest throughout. As the story progressed, I stopped listening to the story and switched to the ebook because I wanted to find out what happened and I could read faster. The ending was somewhat unexpected, but I did have some suspicions as the story went on. Another wonderful book from an author that is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.
I did a read/listen with this book. The audiobook was narrated by Susan Bennett. I have listened to a few books she has narrated and have never been disappointed. She does a great job with both male and female voices as well as accents. Her pacing and expression are also very good. She is a narrator that I will not hesitate to listen to again.
About the Book from Goodreads: 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?