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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Big Lies In a Small Town

     I finished my 2nd book of 2021. I read the book "Big Lies in a Small Town," by Diane Chamberlain for my Book Hive Book Club. If you're a new reader on this blog, the Book Hive Book Club is pretty different. There are 12 people in a group. We all choose a book we want to read and buy that book and a journal. We read the book, journal about it, then send the book and the journal through the mail to the next reader. I've read so many books I never would've even considered picking up and I have met some really interesting people as well. Here's a link to The Book Hive Book Club on Facebook in case you might want to check it out. So, the book....

Big Lies in a Small Town

      This story, told from alternating perspectives tells the life of 2 artists and their involvement with a mural. The first artist, Anna, is the painter of the mural. After applying for the post office mural contest across the US, Anna was initially told that she could not paint the mural she applied for, but she was given the opportunity to paint one for a small town in North Carolina. She temporarily moves to NC to get a feel for the town and quickly discovers the positive and negative aspects of being there. 
     The other artist, Morgan, is a young woman serving time in prison for a DUI charge. She is given the opportunity to be released from prison and put on parole to help restore the mural painted by Anna years before. A local artist had taken an interest in Morgan and, in his will, has given the directive that she should be given the opportunity to restore the mural for his new gallery opening.
       I have never read anything by this author, so this book was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed the character development, the plot, the relationships that developed over time and the story being told through multiple perspectives. 
     Also, because I'm a total nerd, I became interested in the post office mural aspect of the story because I had seen the post office mural stamps released by the United States Post Office in 2019.  Apparently, in 1933, a friend of Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested that the government try to help artists in need of work by commissioning artwork for public buildings.  This led to the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). About 3,700 artists were hired to create work depicting American life and modern trends.   After that project, the Section of Painting and Sculpture was formed, which was later called The Section of Fine Arts.  This group commissioned over 1,000 murals to be painted in post offices across the US between 1934 and 1943. These are what the stamps look like. #GoNerds
Post Office Murals stamps 
    In my next post, I anticipate talking about how I'm currently tanking most of my January goals. Ugh. I've learned a lot about myself and about life in the past year.

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