Pretending to Dance: A Novel

Pretending to Dance: A Novel

by Diane Chamberlain
4.7 19


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Pretending to Dance 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt put it downn. Absorbing story of true fsther/dsughter bond snd sensitive adoption issues. Told from a 14 year old growing up and into adulthood with complicated family. Loved it,
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I really loved this novel until the ending. I found that the ending irritated me. There are two time periods within this novel, one which Molly is a young teen and one in which Molly is a young adult. I feel that the author did a fabulous job switching between the two time periods. I really enjoyed Molly’s childhood story, this narrative was wonderful and I could have read a whole novel based on this part of her life. Molly is surrounded by her family as the whole family lives on a huge piece of land, acres and acres of countryside which the family has named Morrison Ridge. Each family has their own parcel, housing their homestead all within driving range of each other. Molly’s father is in a wheelchair as his health has been declining over the years. He is a therapist and he also writes books for which Molly has been assisting him. Her mother is a pharmacist; she seems so busy and occupied for which I wondered if that is why I thought she was so cold and distant. Its summer and Molly finds a new friend Stacy. The world that she brings to Molly is one that is laced with boys, lying, sex, drugs, and alcohol amongst other things. Molly is excited, her world has existed among adults for the most part and now she can experience what it is like to be a teen. As she reads over Forever, the Judy Blume book Stacy gave her, I drifted back in time to the days when I read her books in private, concealing the covers so my mother would not know exactly what I was reading. Oh, the education Judy Blume gave me that year in elementary school. I thought this relationship with Stacy was important to Molly’s character, it shaped her, it helped her to determine who she was and she got to experience life. This portion of the novel dealing with Molly’s childhood was filled with drama and stories, stories dealing with all the families, stories with Molly’s family alone and stories with just Molly. I didn’t want this portion of the novel to end. We also read about Molly as an adult. She and her husband are trying to adopt a child. Molly is hiding a secret for which no one, not even her husband is aware of. As they fill out the adoption papers, Molly feels that her secret will be discovered. You can feel the tension in the air as you read and Molly tries to act as if nothing is wrong. As I was reading about Molly as a child, I was trying to uncover this mystery and enjoy her childhood adventures. There were a few odd developments in the story but the stories continued on without much merit as to whether they applied to each other. As the couple is hopeful to what could be a new person in their life, Molly is being haunted by her past and what could put an end to her future. I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Molly’s father was loving and fun and I only wished I would have known him before he was ill. As they sang together off-key and as they spent time together, you could feel the love that he had for her. Molly was furious at her father sometimes and that was understandable, for I think she was scared for their future. Her relationship with Amalia, their time dancing together- what fun and what an interesting relationship. I loved the author’s twist on this character and how she was included in this novel. The ending, how Molly could have such emotions for such a long period of time amazed and angered me. What a waste, what a shame that someone did not step in and do something. This is definitely a good book
Mengel2 More than 1 year ago
Having previously lost a child, Molly and Aiden are going through the emotional journey of adoption. Although they are a loving couple who believe in honesty and communication, Molly is hiding a huge secret from her husband. Upon completing the section about her family for the adoption paperwork, Molly is brought back to when she was fourteen years old and the events that changed her life forever. Bouncing back and forth from the present day to a pivotal time in Molly’s life when she was fourteen, the author sheds light on the true Molly. From her close relationship with her father, to her first boy crush, and the realization that her life isn’t what it seems, we are given a bird’s eye view of the happenings of this crucial time in her life. But it’s when her father dies that makes the biggest impact on her, causing her to lose trust in her mother and cut off ties with the family. Pretending to Dance is an emotion-packed, engaging book that will tug at your heart-strings. The characters are relatable with their flaws and imperfections. And the way the author perfectly alternates the present and the past to give you a story that is realistic while tackling tough issues is sheer genius. So if you’re looking for a book with unexpected twists, surprising discoveries, with an element of suspense, you don’t want to miss out on this book.
KWilkes1 More than 1 year ago
Coming of age and becoming a mother... two life altering journeys that make you question everything you know. As Molly Arnette goes through one, it brings up memories and grief of the other, almost like she's straddling two worlds. Unable to have children of her own, Molly and her husband start the process of an open adoption. Throughout, and with a reminder from someone from her past, she is forced to face the events that changed her life, the ones that had everything to do with where she stood today, even if she didn't realize. Her discoveries open her eyes, shedding new light, and help to clear up the cluttered path to her future. I am a faithful follower of Diane Chamberlain, and because of this was lucky enough to win an Advanced Reader's Edition from the publisher, St. Martin's Press. I promise you, she didn't disappoint. The feelings. Her writing is so amazing, you feel what her characters feel. It's so easy to slip into them, to feel them. Her subject matter is poignant, and makes you think. What would I do, how would I handle it? I highly recommend this be added to your to be read list, whether you've read Diane's books previously or not!
Anonymous 8 days ago
I don't write reviews often. This book brought tears to my eyes. You really feel connected to the characters. Glad I chose to read it.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
Diane Chamberlain’s PRETENDING TO DANCE mesmerized, switching in time and place to draw a complete picture. I listened to the first half of a very well read audio version but changed to the written book because I couldn’t wait for answers. So much loss through lack of communication, so much gained by opening the doors between people. “It’s hard to move on if you don’t forgive. It’s like trying to dance with a lead weight on your shoulders. The anger can weigh you down forever.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant and deep and real and...just read it, trust me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Diane always tells a wonderful story about something meaningful for someone cee cee wilkes was my favorite a great way to get introduced to this special talented author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually like Diane chamberlain's books, but found this book very slow reading. I kept on thinking, when is something going to happen. Not one of her better books. Could not relate to any of the characters, not very interesting.
Alfie More than 1 year ago
One dimensional characters and overly sentimental. Not a fan - debated about even finishing it but I did. So much more could have been done with this story.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Told in alternating narrations by the same character; one storyline is in the present day as Molly is trying to come to the terms that adoption will be the only way her and her husband can create a family, the second storyline is the summer Molly is 14 years old and it will be the summer that changes her life. I adore books told this way where we learn about the character's past while still moving the current story forward. The storyline from the past was the main focus of the book and I loved it. I loved her age at 14 and how the author showed that as a teenager we miss clues and hints that are going on around us as people at that age are very self centered.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
Pretending to Dance is a women's fiction novel written by Diane Chamberlain. This story is told from the past and present perspective of the main character: Molly. The revolving time frames work flawlessly as the reader witnesses how events in her adolescence follow her into adulthood like a shadow. Life seems to come full circle for Molly and she must address the secrets and lies associated with her past if she wants to move forward. Focal themes include coming of age, adoption, marriage, family estrangement, and quality of life issues. Pretending to Dance was so very, very good. I felt consistently engaged and when I cried, my tears felt endless. The subject of adoption is close to my heart and the emotional complexity of this part of the story was palpable. Pretending to Dance is one of my favorite Chamberlain books to date, and the audiobook performance is excellent. If you enjoy women's fiction/drama, please don't miss this one. My favorite quote: "It’s hard to move on if you don’t forgive. It’s like trying to dance with a lead weight on your shoulders. The anger can weigh you down forever."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the short ,99 pre quel, as usual one of her best! I think i say that every time i read one of her books! Dont miss this ine!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not wait to read. Could not put down.
Holly More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the BookSparks 2015 Fall Reading Challenge in exchange for a honest review. In Pretending To Dance, it's the story of Molly and how one summer when she was 14 changed everything. Molly and her husband are trying to adopt a baby after failed attempts to have one of their own when her distant cousin writes her a email reminding her of family that she wants to forget. When Molly was 14, her dad had MS and during that summer everything changed, from her discovering about boys to losing herself from everything that happened with her dad, it made her see life different. As Molly and Aiden go through the adoption process, it makes Molly look back on how everything turned out and after she tells Aiden what happened that summer, she goes back and discovers that you can go home again and things will be alright. I loved how this book played out with the whole going back and forth from preset day to 1990 and it ended just on the right note as well. Diane knows how to get the reader so evolved with the story that it makes you happy but sad all at the same time. Mrs. Chamberlain is gonna be on my top list of authors to be reading now just because this is my first novel that I read by her and it was awesome!!! Thank You to Diane Chamberlain for writing such a great book and I'm looking forward to more stories!!
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Pretending to Dance was an amazing story. Taking place during two pivotal times in Molly's life, we uncover her past as she tries to come to terms with it in her future. The summer of Molly 14th year was the one that changed her life forever. Molly experienced so many changes in her life that year that stay with her for the rest of her life. It was a summer full of fun and tragedy, and it haunts her still. This summer is beautifully told and at times it seems like such a magical time of discovery for her. In the present, Molly has lied about her past and her family to everyone. As she gets ready to adopt a child, she begins to re-visit her past more and more, terrified that it will somehow come out and ruin her chances. Her struggle with this is very real. As the adoption itself begins to falter, she goes into a downward spiral both mentally and physically.I learned so much about open adoption, the pitfalls and the joys. It is such a different process than I had ever imagined. Her present and past come to a head when she is forced to face her past and address what happened there. While she finds a little of what she expected, things weren't quite as she had thought. And so much has changed since then that it's almost unrecognizable. This was a beautiful story of a family's love and the things a family may be willing to do to help the children. I think this is a must read for readers of all sorts. There are so many very special elements that you will find a way to connect to the characters and their lives. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
Lillianne More than 1 year ago
The title for this book is quite significant. Can a person really pretend to dance through life? Can a person pretend life is one way and then live it that way? Molly Arnette and her husband are both lawyers in California who are in the process of adopting a baby. However, the adoption process brings up childhood memories Molly has kept a secret from everyone, including her beloved husband. This book is cleverly written focusing on Molly’s childhood with her adoring father and family in North Carolina. The adoption process which triggers Molly’s childhood memories is woven into the story. The author addresses many themes in this book including family, marriage, adoption, friendship, secrets (lots of secrets), and loyalty. Without spoiling the several twists and turns in this well written book, I can honestly say, I stayed up all night reading this book. I had to know the family secrets and how things turned out. Riveting. By far, this book is the best book I have read this year! *I received an advance reader copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of the BookSparks University Fall Reading Challenge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and easy to read!! Such a great story!
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars! WARNING! You will need tissues for the ending of this book. I LOVED this book!! I enjoyed the historic part better than the present day part. I got a little tired of the whining about whether or not they would get the baby, but I can understand the frustration. Wow, her adopted mother killed her father and her birth mother lived right down the street. That's some serious dysfunction there. But hey, it is North Carolina. I got relatives there and part of my family tree is one straight branch, so I know all about that. HA! But that's all I can say about that because I can't give you any spoilers, your just going to have to buy the book to find out. But it will seriously make you say "WHAT?" when the true story comes out. Well, okay I did. The story deals with a lot of things and dancing is just a small, very small part of it. I found this to be very entertaining, intriguing, and I really got into the story. I was definitely wanting to slap Molly several times especially when Stacy told her Chris was with another girl the weekend she was on the book tour and then she still met him. But, girls know everything at the ripe old age of fourteen. Right! Anyway, thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend this book. Come on, it's Diane Chamberlain for goodness sakes. How could you go wrong?