Pretending To Dance

Pretending to Dance - Diane Chamberlain

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 book worth checking out.