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Thursday, October 15, 2015

(72)Pretending to Dance by Diana Chamberlain


Molly Arnette was devastated when she had a miscarriage and found out that she couldn't have children. She and her husband have started the adoption process, but Molly is on edge that the truth of her past will be revealed as they continue the process .  She has kept this truth from her husband and she fears what will happen when he finds out the truth.   Molly left her family in North Carolina years ago and has never looked back, but questions about her family's medical history brings up all the painful memories.  She thinks back to the year her father died and everything that she went through with her mother and the rest of the family.   What will happen if her husband found out the truth of her father's death?  Will the truth prevent them from having the family they so desperately want?

I have always been a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain.   In her new book, Pretending to Dance,  she introduces us to Molly and her unique southern family.  Her father has been battling MS for as long as she can remember, her mother is really her adopted mother, but her real mother lives on the family land, along with her various aunts, uncles, and cousins.   It is a unique situation, but for fourteen year old Molly, it is just home.  Pretending to Dance is told in alternating chapters. Present day Molly is fearful that the truth will get out and fourteen year old Molly is living a life where it is normal for her father to need help going to the bathroom and feeding himself.   And then Molly's dad dies & she realizes that her idyllic childhood has been anything but idyllic.  She runs away and never looks back from the people she felt betrayed her and her beloved father.   Now, having said that, Pretending to Dance was more predictable than what I have come to expect from Diane Chamberlain.   I figured out pretty early on what the twist was going to be and honestly the reason Molly kept the truth from her husband was pretty weak. I do think that the author accurately depicted the struggles of a teen girl trying to find her place in the world.  Which sometimes means choosing the wrong friends and making bad decisions about boys.

Bottom line, while Pretending to Dance wasn't my favorite Diane Chamberlain novel, it is worth the read.  The subject matter is one that is relevant and has been in the news a lot in the last year or so.  It will certainly generate some conversation for book clubs all over the country.

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