By Diane Chamberlain
The story centres around two women connected by a painting.
It’s 2018 and Morgan Christopher is serving three years in North Carolina’s Women’s Correctional Centre, after confessing to a crime she did not commit. One day she has a visitor who makes her an offer she can’t refuse, to restore an old post office mural in a small town. If she accepts she’ll be released immediately. Although Morgan has always dreamt of a career in art she knows absolutely nothing about restoration work. Desperate to leave the prison she accepts. She begins to clean away the layers of dirt from the mural uncovering a story of madness, violence and conspiracy.
Step back to 1940’s New Jersey and a young artist, Anna Dale, wins a national contest to paint a mural for a post office in small town Edenton North Carolina. She accepts the challenge and moves to Edenton to better immerse herself into the community and get a feel of the town that’ll help to create her artistic vision. Her first impression of the townsfolk slowly changes as prejudices become apparent and being different ends in murder.
The book switches between 1940 and 2018 with a well researched storyline. Diane has woven history and art into this rich tapestry of a novel. Her writing completely keeps your interest from start to finish, with lots of colourful characters springing to life from the pages.