When the pretending ends, the lying begins . . .
Molly Arnette is good at keeping secrets.
As she and her husband try to adopt a baby, she 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.
Molly ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved.
Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a healthy future, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain, the bestselling author of The Silent Sister, is a fascinating and deftly-woven novel, that reveals the devastating power of secrets.
A huge welcome to the BLOG TOUR for Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain.
Pretending To Dance was published in the UK by Pan Macmillan on 8 October 2015.
Diane Chamberlain has been publishing her novels since the late 1980s. I've read and enjoyed quite a few of her books and was really pleased to be invited to take place in this blog tour.
Pretending To Dance is Molly's story and begins as she and her husband Aiden are going through the process of applying to become adoptive parents. From the outset, the reader is aware that, despite their seemingly perfect life - they are two successful lawyers in San Diego, with money and a nice home - Molly has things that she would rather hide.
Molly and Aiden want an 'open' adoption, they want their child's birth mother to be part of their lives, to be recognised and to visit. Molly herself comes from a similar background. She was brought up in North Caroline by her mother Nora and her father Graham, whilst her birth mother Amalia lived close by.
Molly remembers that this situation was often fraught. Molly is also worried that all of the things about her background that she has kept from Aiden will be exposed. She will be exposed.
Diane Chamberlain whisks the reader back to Molly's childhood days where we meet the family and friends who shaped her, we travel with her through Molly's teenage angst and rebellion and we learn the shocking secrets that she has kept hidden throughout her adult years.
Being so dishonest goes against everything that Molly stands for and she finally realises that she has to go back. She must deal with her unresolved issues. She goes home, to visit her cousin, and to meet with Nora.
That's where I will stop talking about the plot. There are all sorts of themes and issues contained within Pretending To Dance and Diane Chamberlain skilfully weaves those altogether. The multiple themes do not overcrowd the plot whatsoever, this is seamless storytelling.
The development of the characters is excellently done, and Molly's relationship with her father Graham is quite beautiful. The tenderness and feelings are deep and realistically portrayed. As well as a tale of secrets and suspense, this is Molly's coming of age, with the dramas and crisis that can only be created by a young teen who is discovering the opposite sex.
A really well written family drama with suspense and shocks galore. Wonderfully created characters and a glorious setting.
I am delighted to welcome the author, Diane Chamberlain to Random Things today for a mini interview:
What was your biggest fear about writing and how did you overcome it?
I still grapple with my biggest fear, even as I begin writing my twenty-fifth novel. That fear is “Can I do it again?” Whenever I begin thinking about what to write next, I’m still in love with the book I most recently finished. Right now, I’m in love with Pretending to Dance. I love how it turned out. I love the depth of the characters and the twists and turns of the story, and I anxiously wonder if I can do it again. I’ve dealt with this fear every year of my career and so far, I’ve managed to pull it off each time. Yet the anxiety persists.
What’s your social network of choice and why?
I’m a Facebook addict. I love sharing my life with my readers and I love hearing about their lives in return. I particularly love it when they help me with a story. For example, in Pretending to Dance my readers helped me name a few characters and places. They schooled me in the things a fourteen-year-old girl might feel passionate about in 1990. (The New Kids on the Block, purple Doc Martens, Judy Blume’s book Forever). My creative Facebook readers are the reason my central character Molly carries an amethyst palm stone in her pocket to give her courage. I’m so grateful to them for brainstorming with me and I hope they feel as though they have a small role in the creation of my stories.
What is the most difficult thing about starting a new book?
When I start a new book, I am outside the story. For a period of time, the writing is more intellectual than emotional and that makes it hard for me to feel invested. After a while, a point will come when I feel myself inside the story. I love that moment! The characters will be with me day and night then. I’ll know them inside out and I’ll feel everything they’re going through. When I’m inside the story, everything comes together and the writing process becomes a joy.
What advice do you wish someone had given the “younger you” about writing?
I wish someone had told the very young me that good writing is the ticket to success in nearly everything. I didn’t learn that until my junior year of high school when a history teacher taught us how to research and organize our essays and term papers. Suddenly, I realized I could use my writing skills in every subject (except math, unfortunately). My grades soared. It’s those skills that got me through college and graduate school, and it’s those skills I still use today as I outline and work on my books. We can do our young people a big favor by helping them learn to write well.
What is one thing readers and fellow writers would be surprised to learn about the writing process for Pretending to Dance?
Pretending to Dance takes place both in the current day, from thirty-eight-year-old Molly’s point of view as she and her husband try to adopt a baby, and in 1990 when fourteen-year-old Molly faces the most difficult summer of her life. When I began writing the book, I had a vague idea that there would be a current-day story, but I didn’t know what it would be, so I wrote the entire 1990 story first. Then I thought about the themes in that story and how they would play out in grown-up Molly’s life. That’s how Molly’s conflicted feelings about adopting a baby were born. Even I was surprised at how beautifully the two stories worked together.
Diane Chamberlain is the bestselling author of twenty-four novels.
Her storylines are often a combination of romance, family drama, intrigue and suspense.
She lives in Northern Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Cole.
Visit her website at dianechamberlain.com.
Her Facebook Reader's Page
Follow her on Twitter @D_Chamberlain