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  • Small Town Historical Fiction

    2018, Morgan Christopher found herself serving time in the North Carolina Correctional Facility, she's young, very naive, she made a big mistake, trusted the wrong person and she never considered she could be sent to jail! Once she understands how much trouble she's in, she's tries desperately to explain that she didn't commit the crime, but it's far too late, no one will believe her and she's sentenced to serve three years in jail. One day, she is taken to the private visitors room at the jail and two women are waiting to see to her. Morgan is totally confused, she doesn't know the ladies, one is Lisa Williams and the other is her lawyer Andrea Fuller. Lisa explains to her that she's the daughter of a famous artist called Jesse Jameson Williams, they want her to restore a mural, if she agrees, she could leave jail with Lisa and be released on parole. Morgan has been in jail for a year, she's been sleeping with one eye open and she's very keen to get out of jail. Prior to going to jail, she was studying art, but they want her to restore a depression era mural and she's had zero experience? Of course she leaves jail with Lisa, she will be living at her house and plans have been made for her to meet her parole officer the next day. What has she gotten herself into now, the parole officer didn't beat around the bush, Morgan is to report to her fortnightly, wear a ankle bracelet and she must attend weekly AA meetings. Morgan discovers the mural she's to restore is dirty, it's damaged, it has to be fully restored by the 5th of August and she has two months to complete the restoration or Lisa will lose her inheritance. The mural is to be a major piece in the galleries opening exhibition, why did Jesse Williams want her to restore it and it made no sense? The book has a dual timeline, the story alternates between the present time of 2018 and goes back to 1940. 1940, Anna Dale, is a young artist she lives in New Jersey and she won a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton in North Carolina. Anna is lonely, her mother has just passed away, she needs to find work and she decides to drive to Edenton to have a look around. Once she arrives in Edenton, they want her to start painting the mural right away, why waste time returning to New Jersey and she can board with sweet Miss Myrtle. Anna quickly discovers life in the South is very different to New Jersey, people still have very old fashioned ideas, ladies don't go out alone at night, they don't wear pants, they don't climb ladders, they don't make friends with colored people, especially young colored men and people soon questioning her odd Yankee ways? Big Lies In A Small Town, is a story full of surprises, it hooks you right in from the start and you don't want it to end. You also to notice how similar Anna and Morgan's stories are and they both had difficult childhoods. The book covers so many relevant issues that effect so many people and families. They include, forgiveness, trust, judgment, domestic violence, mental illness, alcohol abuse, racism and injustice. I loved the book, I gave it five big stars and well done Diane Chamberlain.

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