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Pretending to Dance

(The Dance #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  16,378 ratings  ·  1,651 reviews
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 i ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by St. Martin's Press (first published October 1st 2015)
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Nicole netgalley! set up a profile and requested advanced copies from the publisher... you don't always get them but you get some!

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  16,378 ratings  ·  1,651 reviews

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Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars!
Judy Blume’s Forever & Johnny Depp need I say more…….
Why I wanted to read this one……Diane Chamberlain is one of my favourite authors and I always like to pick up one of her novels to change up the pace between all the thrillers/suspense novels that I read.  I really like her writing style as it always flows so naturally, and her novels are always enjoyable, ingenious, easy to follow along, and engaging stories with relatable and loveable characters.
Thoughts & w
Angela M
Jul 23, 2015 rated it liked it

Unfortunately , even though I have enjoyed a couple of Chamberlain's novels , especially Necessary Lies , this one just did not grab me . I liked the prequel much more than the novel .

The story moves back and forth between Molly's life in San Diego as an adult and her teen age life in Morrison Ridge , NC. Way too much time was spent on her teenage years and while this is when the secrets of her past are divulged , the ones that she has kept from her husband , it was just too YA . I felt like I
4.5 Stars

THE DANCE BEGINS set the stage, and now we find out.........What REALLY happened on Morrison Ridge?

The shocking and heartbreaking truth comes out as a fourteen year old Molly tells the story of the close and loving relationship with her disabled father and their unusual, complicated life on Morrison Ridge.

As the narrative unfolds, and the secret family meetings begin without her, a naive Molly finds a "wild" new friend who introduces her to a cute older guy and educates her about th

Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
Beautifully written story about family, secrets, and the fall-out from keeping these secrets hidden.

Meet Molly-happily married, successful lawyer who has just started the process of looking to adopt a baby with her husband. While giving background information to the agency, Molly tells her first lie, saying her Mother is dead. What other lies will she have to tell about her family history, and why?

The next chapter you meet 14 year old Molly. Living on the family compound, caught between that age
PRETENDING TO DANCE by Diane Chamberlain is a marvelous family drama full of love, secrets and betrayals that will totally transport you into the lives of her characters. Having read only “Necessary Lies”, which I loved, I was intrigued to read a review copy of her newest book, “Pretending to Dance”. And I was not disappointed. This was one emotional read, a combination of family drama, mystery, and secrets. Time stood still as I read this novel.

Molly Arnette, a successful lawyer and her loving
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, famil ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christine by: Kim to read for NG
I wish to thank Net Galley, St. Martin’s Press, and Ms. Chamberlain for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

I am relatively new to Diane Chamberlain, only having read The Silent Sister, which I loved, and the prequel to this novel, The Dance Begins. After reading those, I jumped at the chance to obtain a review copy of her newest book.

Pretending to Dance did not disappoint. The story is told by 14-year-old Molly alternating with chapters narrated by the same charac
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Love the cover...

E X T R A O R D I N A R Y !

Top 50 Books of 2015. "2015 Best emotionally driven exploration of family, lies, secrets & moral dilemma (MS)."

Diane Chamberlain once again delivers a bittersweet, and compelling suspense page-turner, PRETENDING TO DANCE, hooking you from page one to the end. 5 Stars+ “Must Read” not to be missed!

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but whil
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Obviously I am in the minority here but I didn't enjoy Pretending to Dance AT ALL.

For the most part this book reminded me of a Judy Blume book, which I used to enjoy when I was a teenager, but now that I'm in my 30's? Not so much.

I kept waiting for the book to get started, which it never did. I kept waiting for some likable characters, which I never found. I kept waiting for some kind of a point, which never happened. Instead I was subject to reading far too much about Molly's awkward and borin
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I always get a thrill when I pick up a Diane Chamberlain. I know that I am going to be totally transported into the lives of her characters and this read was no exception. Molly and Aiden are applying to adopt a baby and everything seems to be going smoothly with one exception. Aiden does not know that Molly has been lying to him all the time they have known each other about her family and now Molly is terrified that background checks will reveal the past and her unconventional upbringing. They ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, favorites
4.5 Stars

Wowza! Diane Chamberlain cannot write a bad book. She's a sure thing. So if you haven't yet discovered her, you really must. Pretending to Dance was heartfelt and full of family, secrets, compassion and anger. The relationship between father and daughter here was so, so special, it left me envious. Sigh....
Dale Harcombe
As this book starts out Aiden and Molly are living in San Diego, trying to adopt a child. The interview with the social worker is stressful for Molly because she is keeping secrets about her family. Secrets that when they came out cost her a chance at love before. Even though she feels guilty keeping secrets form her husband she believes she cannot afford to let them break free. From this opening the story goes back to Morrison Ridge North Carolina and fills in the story of Molly’s unusual famil ...more
♡ Kim ♡
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Simply amazing! I absolutely loved this book! This is definitely going on my favorites list, and it may be tied for best book of the year for me.

The narration alternates between adult Molly and 14 year old Molly. I loved how well defined the teenage Molly was portrayed, and I adored the relationship she had with her father.

In the end, I could relate to the main character, both as an adult and child, and I even feel closer to my own dad.

I am extremely grateful to have received an arc of Pretend
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, womens-fiction
It’s a funny feeling - getting caught up in a story that I’m not totally enjoying, but still finding myself compelled enough to keep turning the pages. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the author’s writing style or even that the storyline was boring. I just found it to be incredibly odd. The half-truths and the family dynamics cast a strangeness over the entire story for me.

The story follows Molly, a 38 year-old lawyer, who's on the verge of adopting a baby girl, but her past has sort of come back t
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I have yet to pick up a Chamberlain book and be disappointed. Her stories are so touching. She manages to get the reader invested in the characters from the beginning and this novel was no exception. Besides great characters, the 1990s imaginary setting in Morrison Ridge, North Carolina was interesting. Would have loved growing up in a place like that. Pretending to Dance is worth the read with a message about love, forgiveness, growing up, and social issues. Plus, the author did a wonderful j ...more
Patricia Williams
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very emotional story and a really good read. I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because in the beginning I wanted the book to deal with the present. It goes back in forth between past and present of main character. And in the beginning I liked the present better than the past and felt it was wasting my time, but of course about half way through the book, the past became very intriguing. This is a love story of different kinds, of a marriage and of open adoptions and a parent with a se ...more
First--Die hard Diane Chamberlain fans will disagree with me and LOve love love this book! that is ok! I have read almost all her books myself and they all get 3 to 5 stars (necessary lies was a favorite)

Second--- Diane got teenage drama right! I did not like the self centered 14 year old Molly. Also I felt like I was an adult reading one of my Judy Blume books. Though the character Molly reads the Judy Blume book, forever to get pointers about sex, it felt very Young Adult. And that is ok to re
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is 2014, and in San Diego, CA, Aidan James and Molly Arnette are meeting with their social worker in preparation for being adoptive parents. After losing their birth daughter, Molly had a hysterectomy, and that loss has led to this frightening journey. Molly has many reasons for her fears, since she herself had an adoptive mother and a birth mother, both living in Swannanoa, NC, on a kind of compound called Morrison Ridge.

But Molly’s childhood is a secret to everyone who knows her, including
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretend, pretend, pretend and you most likely will talk yourself into thinking you will be able to do something or overcome some fear.

Pretending about things was what Molly's family did. Her dad was a therapist, and that was his strategy with patients and the strategy that he brought to the family.

PRETENDING TO DANCE goes back and forth in Molly's life as the reader shares her sorrows and joys as a child and as an adult. ​Her joys and sorrows as a child surround her parentage and growing up. Her
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
I've eagerly awaited this latest release by one of my favourite authors for quite some time now. Chamberlain's books are a fusion of drama, romance and suspense - just perfect for those who enjoy a little more excitement in their beach reads.

Molly is a successful lawyer who is desperately trying to build the family she craves with her loving husband, Aiden. In order to create the family she craves, she is forced to confront the many skeletons in her closet.

As always, I was captivated by Chamber
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A quick, easy but interesting read. I've read four books by this author, and I really enjoy her style - more toned down that similar authors like Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah. I liked all the characters and found their actions believable. The story is alternates between the present, Molly and Aidan going through the qualifying process to adopt, and flashbacks to the past, the summer twenty four years ago when everything in Molly's life changed. I've never really thought about open adoption an ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Erin by: Lydia
Diane Chamberlain never fails to keep me turning the pages and staying up past my bedtime. Having read almost all of her books, I can safely say that Chamberlain is an author that can easily captivate her reading audience by producing quality storytelling.

In Pretending to Dance, the story's protagonist is Molly Arnette, a thirty something San Diego lawyer, who, along with her husband is looking to adopt a baby and have an open adoption. Similar to many of DC's characters, Molly is haunted by h
A compelling book, with compelling themes by author Diane Chamberlain who seems to have quietly stolen this bibliophile's best corner of her heart while she wasn't noticing. "Pretending to Dance" is not a simple romance or piece of so-called "women's fiction". It has a contemporary story to tell, addressing serious issues which face many of our population today.

First, Chamberlain is a crackerjack storyteller and though her fiction may not be classified as literary, it certainly is lovely to rea
Erin Clemence
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
As always, thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the free e-version of this ARC.
In “Pretending to Dance”, Molly and her husband Aidan, are faced with the challenges that come with adopting a child. However, secrets from Molly’s past soon reveal themselves (did her mother really kill her father? Should she tell her husband that her mother is not dead, after all? And then there’s the issue of Molly’s own birth mother and her mysterious appearance…..) and Molly must decide if her unborn child is worth t
Lisa B.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Molly and her husband Aidan are trying to adopt. There is something in Molly’s past that is preventing her from being able to fully live in the present. Pretending to Dance is the story of what happened to Molly that one fateful summer and why it has impacted her life in such a significant way.

It is not often that I feel compelled to immediately sit down to write a review. But with this story, I have no choice, although first I had to quit crying.

Told in alternating chapters of Molly’s current l

4.5 stars review up soon

It's no secret I'm a Diane Chamberlain fan. I've read eight or nine books now and enjoyed them all. I haven't loved them all but Pretending to Dance is right up there with another favourite ... The Midwife's Confession. Chamberlain's writing is smart and poignant and topical and I found Pretending to Dance particularly relevant.

Molly has kept her past a secret from her husband Aidan, a past that has laid the ground work for Molly's fears and anxieties as the couple begin
Karen R
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of author Diane Chamberlain and want to thank St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of Pretending to Dance in exchange for an honest review. It is a fantastic read with brilliant characters.

Molly and her husband Aidan are in the process of adopting a child but Molly is keeping a secret from her husband. Will her past get in the way of their future, ruining any chance of adopting a child they so desperately want? The chapters fluidly alternate between Molly’s childhood and the
Quick review for a rather progressive read. I took my time with reading "Pretending to Dance" - wrapped up with its questions and building tension that told of a family that used to be close-knit but ended up falling apart. This is ultimately Molly's coming of age story with grief over events that happened when she was a teenager. Told between the past and present, it sets itself up as a parallel story between Molly's family with events that happened during a horrible summer and the present wher ...more
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
THANK YOU NET GALLEY AND ST. MARTIN'S PRESS FOR ARC. I love Diane Chamberlain so I was very excited to get ARC for Pretending to Dance. And let me tell you folks- this book is amazing! Just pure Diane Chamberlain down to girls with red hair and stained glass lol. Story line is very heart warming and left me in tears in quite a few places (especially towards the end). However, this book is not one of Diane's Mystery novels like 'Necessary Lies' or 'The First Lie' and blurb does make it sound like ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I have read several books but this author. What I like about reading books from this author is that I can usually find a connection with the characters. Which in this case, I did but I also was turned off by Moly. What I mean by this is that the teenage rebellion phase grew old quickly. I had no sympathy for Molly with her dysfunction family and the way she acted out as she found out the truth about her family. In fact, I kind of found Molly to be a spoiled brat. So thus the story felt longer th ...more
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Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed ...more

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