Diane Chamberlain's novel, Pretending to Dance, follows adult Molly as she deals with the loss of her child and the fact that she and her husband, Aidan, will never be able to physically have any children of their own. But Molly's life is not what it seems, she has secrets from Aidan. Secrets that she has carried around in her head and heart her whole life. As Molly and Aidan go through the adoption process to find a child of their own, her heart and mind force her to think back and deal with her childhood in North Carolina.
Molly was born as the illegitimate child of her father, Graham, and Amalia, a coworker at a mental hospital where he worked prior to marrying Nora. During her early years, Amalia brought Molly to Morrison Ridge and gave her to Molly's father and his wife, Nora to raise.
Amalia ends up staying in the private community and being a part of Molly's life. Molly's father is now suffering from a severe case of muscular disease that is advancing quickly. What happens during the summer in which Molly turned fourteen will effect her forever. She is determined to find the answers that she has been running from for years. She left North Carolina and has not spoken to her mother, Nora, since or even her birth mother, Amalia.
Pretending to Dance explores the family relationship between mother and child and father and child. These experience shape the relationships Molly has in the future. All the events and experiences we live through effect our decisions through life. Molly has never dealt with her past and now she must if she is going to be able to go forward with adopting a child with Aidan. The future of their marriage is what finally pushes her to go back and face her past. Diane Chamberlain is a master in the family relationship story and crafts fine characters that are flawed, but human. Her novels are peppered with "alive" people and that is a gift every writer tries to find. Enjoy this on the beach or anywhere.