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Publisher's Summary

Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She and her husband live in San Diego, where they hope to soon adopt a baby. But the process terrifies her.

As the questions and background checks come one after another, Molly worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption but her marriage as well. She ran away from her family 20 years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved: Her mother, the woman who raised her and who Molly says is dead but is very much alive; her birth mother, whose mysterious presence raised so many issues; and the father she adored, whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison Ridge.

Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a future filled with promise, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.

Told with Diane Chamberlain's compelling prose and gift for deft exploration of the human heart, Pretending to Dance is an exploration of family, lies, and the complexities of both.

©2015 Diane Chamberlain Books, Inc (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    353
  • 4 Stars
    193
  • 3 Stars
    66
  • 2 Stars
    15
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    8

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    388
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    150
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    4

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    319
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    170
  • 3 Stars
    64
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    14
  • 1 Stars
    9
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Enjoyable .... 2 minor issues

Overall I thought the book was enjoyable BUT the main character came across as incredibly selfish for a large part of the novel. Which is fine you don't have to love the characters but it amazed me that none of her family said "grow up everything isn't about you". Only other thing was the narrator doing the male voice was annoying at times.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Skip this.

Liked the adoption aspect. Not a fan of teenaged sex, so I can't recommend the book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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SPOILERS!!! Was Very Disappointed!

What disappointed you about Pretending to Dance?

It had such high ratings, I was expecting more. The book description eludes to a lot of mystery. A mysterious death (I'm thinking a terrible murder, yes!). A dead mother (another yes! How'd she die?). A birth mother's mysterious presence? (Ooo, is she stalking the family? Does she want the child she gave up back?). All of this sounds so good! Molly ran away 20 years ago. For these reasons, I'm thinking awesome! The makings of an amazing story! I was ready to dive in! It revolved around a 14 year girl who was "coming of age". She was unsure of herself and naive. She is surrounded by family on family land (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, parents) on a mountain ridge in NC. Her father has extremely advanced multiple sclerosis and is confined to wheelchair, paralysed from the neck down. She was adopted by her stepmother but her biological mother lives within walking distance. She has a friend who is the total opposite of her, Stacey. Stacey is lacking parental supervision, does drugs, drinks and has a 17 year old boyfriend. She immediately introduces these things to Molly. She falls hard for the older boy who uses her and breaks her heart. I was fine with all of this. Like I said it part of it was a coming of age story. (This sounds awful and I hate to even say it, considering I'm the mother of 3 daughters, but the teen sex "coming of age" part of the book was the most interesting and realistic part of the book.) This book was terribly slow. It flips between 14 year old Molly in NC to 38 year old Molly in San Diego. I don't know who is more annoying, the 14 year old or the 38 year old. On a plus note, while most of the characters in "Pretending to Dance" were very annoying/boring, there were a few who were really great, stand out characters. Russell, (Molly's father's aid) was my favorite. He was loving, kind, and very good to Molly and her family. Danielle was an amazing cousin, Molly was just too blind to see it. Nora and Amalea (Molly's adopted and birth mother) were both wonderful, once again, Molly was too blind and unforgiving to see it.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I'll probably stick with Joshilyn Jackson. Or any book that has characters with actual personalities. Molly, her husband Aiden and Sienna, the girl they want an open adoption with, all have the personalities of sticks or pine combs.

How could the performance have been better?

I'm sure Susan Bennett did the best she could with what she had to work with. That being said, her voice was way to old for a 14 year girl.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance, I wanted to slap Molly.

Any additional comments?

This book is boring, falls short on all expectations. It just drones on and on and on. I stopped listening several times and only finished because I was on a long trip and had nothing else loaded on my iPhone. Molly is selfish, annoying, unforgiving and wastes 20 years of her life having no family, not because she doesn't have family, but because she cut them from her life. Also like I mentioned already, the overview eludes to a murder, a dead mother, the mysterious presence of Molly's birth mother. Wrong, wrong, wrong. If only ANY of this plot line would have existed, the book may have been good. There was no murder (simply a requested mercy death), no dead mother (Molly just told everyone her everyone she was dead) and lastly, "mysterious presence"? Oh we could only wish...instead, both Molly's birth mother and her adoptive mother coexist quite peacefully next door to each other. Boring.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Narrator Makes This Book!

Would you consider the audio edition of Pretending to Dance to be better than the print version?

In this case, I would have to say, "yes." Susan Bennett kept me so entertained and enthralled for the entire book! She is now my favorite narrator and I've listened to hundreds of audio books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Young Mollie was my favorite. Diane Chamberlain perfectly captured the young teen angst and personality traits. "I" WAS Mollie!!

What about Susan Bennett’s performance did you like?

Her pacing and inflections were perfect. She kept me so engaged and did not have any kind of quirk or irritating trait that you so often find in narrators.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Completely fulfilling !

Very enjoyable story, excellent development of characters, and kept me listening well into the night. This books softly moves through a young girls perspective on life and we watch her negotiate her 14th year of life. Her family is very unconventional so her experiences are unusual in many ways. The book moves back & forth between the young girl and her older self in present day. The changes between years are done smoothly and without causing confusion. Very interesting overall with excellent narration, and well worth the credit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Worst book she ever wrote

Would you try another book from Diane Chamberlain and/or Susan Bennett?

Yes, I've read other Chamberlain books and was never disappointed. This one couldn't keep we awake, and when I was, all I could do was rant to myself about the self-involved, spoiled brat the protagonist was. Not a likable character in the bunch. Actually, never even finished listening because I kept falling asleep.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something with a little more depth.

What three words best describe Susan Bennett’s performance?

Well done, but not riveting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Another Good Book by Diane!

As always with Diane Chamberlain books, it was very easy and enjoyable read. She always keeps the story moving forward with very few slow spots. It was a great story and I would recommend this book to others, as always. So happy she has her books on Audio for the long hours in the car. Waiting on the next one!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Too much Sex!

The author had a good story, but spent entirely too much time describing in detail the act of lovemaking. Readers have enough imagination without such graphic detail.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Diane Chamberlain ALWAYS delivers!

Once again, Diane chamberlain delivers an amazing story that kept me listening obsessively! I hate to see it end! Susan Bennett is quickly becoming a favorite narrator on audible too!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Out of the box

Love comes in many faces. Listened to this twice and will listen to it again and again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful