I’m still shocked that it had taken me so long to read a book by Diane as “The Dream Daughter” was my first novel read by her. Here is her latest one from earlier this year.
Thank you St Martin’s Press for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
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?
I always love that her stories take place in towns that I love, whether it be in Maryland (The Stolen Marriage) or North Carolina like this one. As there is some timeline differences throughout the novel, it flows very well. It’s not confusing to keep track of, and it’s fun to have in the first place. I don’t feel like this story was as good as The Dream Daughter or The Stolen Marriage (the only other two I have read by Diane so far), but it does not disappoint. It’s a compelling story that focuses on a lot of important historical social issues during these two time periods. It reads a lot like a mystery which I enjoyed! I don’t think it’s one to pass up!