BookSparks PR Presents: Pretending To Dance

23847950Title:  Pretending To Dance
Author:  Diane Chamberlain
Length:  352 pages
Format:  Print
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Rating:  3 Stars

Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She lives in San Diego with a husband she adores, and they are trying to adopt a baby because they can't have a child on their own. But the process of adoption brings to light many questions about Molly's past and her family—the family she left behind in North Carolina twenty years before.

 The mother she says is dead but who is very much alive. The father she adored and whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison's Ridge. Her own birth mother whose mysterious presence in her family raised so many issues that came to a head. The summer of twenty years ago changed everything for Molly and as the past weaves together with the present story, Molly discovers that she learned to lie in the very family that taught her about pretending. If she learns the truth about her beloved father's death, can she find peace in the present to claim the life she really wants? - Goodreads

My Thoughts

Molly Arnette has worked very hard to build the perfect life with her husband Aiden. Now a successful divorce attorney, living in San Francisco; Molly appears to have the life that anyone would want. But as Molly knows all too well...appearances can be deceiving.

Told through a series of flashbacks to her fourteenth year in Morrison Ridge, N.C.; Pretending To Dance follows Molly's journey away from the lies of that haunt her past, and toward glaring truths that will shape her future.

Though it is very easy to sympathize with the sheltered, naive, and very confused young lady that we meet in Morrison Ridge. The woman standing on the verge of losing everything, due to blatant lies and hypocrisy... not so much.
I say this because even though the story of her relationship with her father, and the specter that his illness and loss casts over her life is very compelling. The only reason that we the readers are taking this 'trip down memory lane' with dear old Molly to begin with...lies.

Molly is scared out of her wits that both her husband and the adoption agency from which she so "desperately" wants a baby, will find out that everything that she has told them about her past guessed it! Lies.

Anybody else see a little "pot and kettle" going on here.

She runs away from home and all the people who love her, and have only kept things from her because they knew that she was not capable of dealing with them.
Then uses the betrayal that she felt to justify betraying her husband.


Compelling family drama aside. This is a very well written book; for the most part.

The ins and outs of young Molly's life in N.C. Awesome!

The eccentricities of her rather unorthodox family. Great!

Her coming of age. Superb!

Her adult life.
Well, aside from the lie that she is so afraid is going to explode.

The only thing that gives adult Molly any emotional validity at all is the sweet 'come to Jesus' moment at the end of the book. But even that is manifests through her late father.
I was provided with a review copy of this work by St. Martin's Press.

About Diane: 
Diane Chamberlain
Diane Chamberlain is the USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 24 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane’s background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She also lived for many years in San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home.

Diane received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, Diane worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria Virginia specializing in adolescents. All the while Diane was writing on the side. Her first book, Private Relations was published in 1989 and it earned the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel.

Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole. She has three stepdaughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. She’s currently at work on her next novel.

Please visit Diane's website for more information on her newest novel, Pretending to Dance, and a complete list of her books

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