Verdict: An average fiction book aimed at women.
Per the publisher:
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?
Pretending to Dance Review:
Pretending to Dance follows Molly during the summer when she is 14, during the 1980’s, as well as her late 30’s, during our contemporary time. As the adult Molly and her husband attempt to adopt a baby, we learn about the summer of Molly’s life that changed her world forever. As you can imagine, there are obvious parallels between adult Molly’s situation and child Molly’s situation, and there are some clever parallels that the reader doesn’t find out until later into the novel. On the whole, it’s a fiction novel. No more and no less. It’s not really a coming of age story; it’s not a thriller; and finally, it’s certainly not a mystery.
I really enjoy novels that have narratives that go back and forth between time. I liked this one a lot because most novels that I read that employ the technique, like Kate Morton novels, jump 50 to 100 years. This novel, however, had a shorter jump, and followed the same woman. I found myself wishing that story would follow the older Molly more, though. The summer that Molly was 14 made her who she was, essentially, but I still liked the chapters about her life in San Diego and the adoption process.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend that you run out and put this novel at the top of your To Be Read list, but it’s not a bad book. And, if you happen to be a Diane Chamberlain fan, then definitely read it. It caught my attention enough that I will definitely be reading more novels by her soon.
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this novel.
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