Cover image for Pretending to dance
Title:
Pretending to dance
Author:
Chamberlain, Diane, 1950- , author.
Publication Information:
[New York] : St Martin's Press, [2015]
Physical Description:
339 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
"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?" --
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9781250010742
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She and her husband live in San Diego, where they hope to soon adopt a baby. But the process terrifies her.

As the questions and background checks come one after another, Molly worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. She ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved: Her mother, the woman who raised her and who Molly says is dead but is very much alive. Her birth mother, whose mysterious presenceraised so many issues. The father she adored, whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison Ridge.

Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a future filled with promise, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.

Told with Diane Chamberlain's compelling prose and gift for deft exploration of the human heart, Pretending to Dance is an exploration of family, lies, and the complexities of both.


Author Notes

Diane Chamberlain is an American author of adult fiction. Prior to her writing career, she was a psychotherapist in private practice in Virginia, working primarily with adolescents. Among her works are: Secrets She Left Behind, The Lost Daughter, Before the Storm, The Bay at Midnight, The Lies We Told, The Midwife's Confession, and Necessary Lies.

Diane's novel, The Secret Sister, became a New York Times bestseller in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In 1990, Molly Arnette was like any other 14-year-old girl, yearning for a pair of purple Doc Martens. Her world was just starting to open up beyond her family's neighborhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Decades later, Molly looks back on the summer of her 14-year-old self as the summer when everything changed. As a grown woman, Molly wonders if she's strong enough to proceed with the adoption application she and her husband have started and whether it's time to let him know the truth about her own childhood. Chamberlain has teenage Molly and grown-up Molly narrate alternating chapters, piecing parallel stories together. Exploring the thrilling feelings of first love, the depths of teenage angst, and the difficult decisions families and spouses make together, Pretending to Dance is a multilayered, poignant novel. Chamberlain writes knowledgeably about seeing a family member confront a degenerative illness, the power of therapy, and the hardship of loss. Reminiscent of a Sarah Dessen or Sharon Creech novel, Pretending to Dance proves that a coming-of-age story can happen at any time in your life.--Turza, Stephanie Copyright 2015 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Molly Arnette is a successful lawyer, happily married and seeking one thing: a child to adopt. Her marriage to fellow lawyer Aidan is ideal other than that she's kept a major secret from him. Molly told him her mother died long ago, but the woman is still alive. Molly ran away from her family decades earlier after a horrifying event and has worked hard to keep her secrets from creeping into her new life. The adoption paperwork, however, digs into her past, specifically her family background. Attempting to hold her marriage together, Molly discovers that things were not as they seemed when she left North Carolina. The narrative jumps back and forth in short chapters between Molly's past and present, unfolding her family drama while telling of her struggle with adoption. As Molly begins to unravel the realities of her past, the story becomes engrossing. Despite some unbelievable plot points, the novel is presented in a realistic way. Verdict Chamberlain doesn't quite hit the mark here as she did with The Silent Sister, but this one will still be popular with contemporary fiction fans who like a little mystery.-Brooke Bolton, Boonville-Warrick Cty. P.L., IN © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Molly and her husband, Aidan, want to adopt a baby. A young pregnant girl who wants to give her child up thinks that they may be the couple to become her baby's parents. But though Molly knows that she wants this baby, she is also unsure about being an adoptive mother. Her past looms close and hides a secret that she fears will unhinge not only this adoption but possibly her marriage. Alternating chapters tell the story of Molly's life during the summer she turned 14 in her small North Carolina town, juxtaposed with chapters about her life today as a lawyer in San Diego. She was raised in a loving family with a pharmacist mother and a therapist father with multiple sclerosis. That summer, Molly befriends a new girl who introduces her to an older boy, and subsequently drugs and sex. When a devastating event occurs and her beloved father dies, Molly is unable to reconcile the actions of her family. She is unable to trust them and leaves them behind, first for boarding schools and then for her adult life in San Diego. It is only her fear that the past is beginning to influence her present that pushes her to deal with those earlier events. VERDICT An excellent choice for mature teens who will follow Molly's burgeoning maturity as she tries to keep her father close and safe.-Connie Williams, Petaluma High School, CA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.