Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Review: Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain

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?

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by St. Martin's Press
Genre: Adult Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain, and this book is just one of many examples why. I always worry a little when I pick up a book by a favourite author that the stories will get old or repetitive. This is not the case with this author. She manages to come up with unique and thought provoking story lines each and every time.

Chamberlain is a master at creating such vivid settings that you feel like you are there. I could clearly picture Morrison's Ridge, the loop road and everything else. I could feel every root and stone on the mountain paths. It was as if I was walking beside Molly every step of the way.

The story weaves between Molly's past and present and in each scenario she is dealing with serious and important issues. As an adult she is struggling with the challenges of adoption because she can't have children of her own. In the past we see Molly as a fourteen year old girl who is dealing with the challenges of growing up as well as a father, whom she adores, who is living with a debilitating disease. The story weaves flawlessly between these two stories in order to tell the even bigger story. I should add that this is a style that Chamberlain has perfected and also a style that I adore.

This story deals with a very relevant and thought provoking topic. I don't want to go into detail because there is so much that I don't want to give away. I was able to see where the story was heading but it didn't impact my enjoyment in the least. It is a story that will definitely make you think and even make you cry.

As always I loved every minute of this book. Diane Chamberlain disappoints and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

About the Author

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.

Connect with Diane


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