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Publisher's Summary

When the pretending ends, the lying begins....

It's the summer of 1990, and 14-year-old Molly Arnette lives with her extended family on 100 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The summer seems idyllic at first. The mountains are Molly's playground, and she's well loved by her father, a therapist famous for books he's written about a method called 'Pretend Therapy'; her adoptive mother, who has raised Molly as her own; and Amalia, her birth mother who also lives on the family land. The adults in Molly's life have created a safe and secure world for her to grow up in.

But Molly's security begins to crumble as she becomes aware of a plan taking shape in her extended family - a plan she can't stop and that threatens to turn her idyllic summer into a nightmare.

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain, the best-selling author of The Silent Sister, is a fascinating and deftly woven novel that reveals the devastating power of secrets.

©2015 Diane Chamberlain (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Prepare to have your heartstrings tugged by this cleverly crafted family drama." ( Sunday Mirror)
"Tightly written with a great plot, this book will keep you hooked." ( Fabulous Magazine)

What listeners say about Pretending to Dance

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Great book!

As usual full of twists and turns and interest.
Such a great author. I love listening to her stories and each one so different.

2 people found this helpful

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What a great book

I was captured from start to finish. l loved the story & found the narrator easy to listen to

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

I loved this audiobook I was sorry it had to end. The narrator did a fantastic job

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Solid story, worth a listen/read.

The narrator is one of my favourites. Enjoyed the story, kept me entertained the whole way through. Easy listening.

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Pretending to dance

The story was so touching and had me hooked straight away! Susan Bennet narrated this perfectly. I didn't want the book to end.

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This book was unfortunately disappointing. The end was was lovely, however the book is based on a back and forth timeline with no twists. The storyline was predictable.

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A relaxing read.

This story was an easy but engaging read. A lovely story with likable characters and interesting story line.

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  • elfisher
  • 23-10-2015

Beautiful story, heart felt and captivating

This is a beautiful story of personal development and really tough choices. I loved the honesty of the characters and the easily imagined back drop. Susan was a perfect narrator with an age appropriate voice. I have personally and professionally related to this book as I am a Therapist and a girl who also grew up loving New Kids On The Block! It reminds me of Judy Blume and Freya North. Love them both.
Easy to read (listen to) yet fulfilling.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Hazel
  • 07-02-2017

Started great but sickly sweet unbearable ending

I loved the adventures of the young Molly but the present Molly came across as pathetically hard done by with a constant 'woe is me' attitude. The subject matter of euthanasia could have been so great and gritty but it wasn't It was disappointingly dull. The ending was also a real let down, all lose ends are tied up in a cheesy big pink sickly bow. 1...2...3..group hug!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lou
  • 04-11-2015

Beautiful performance.

I guessed the twist. And I thought the main character was selfish. But by design. Neither of these things made the book any less enthralling. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fee
  • 20-12-2020

Just an easy listen

It’s just a book about lives and most will probably be able to relate to parts of it. I don’t know what genre it is but it’s not my usual choice.

As I said, just an easy listen. What we all need while the world around us is crazy.

I’m going to listen to a murder and mayhem book next because this, if it is possible, has made me miss my family even more. Christmas 2020!

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  • Atheana
  • 03-05-2020

Another good read but perhaps not the best

I have mixed feelings about this book, primarily because of the lack of clarity on various points throughout the book and also because I wasn’t really crazy about the main character, Molly.

I too have MS and can totally relate to where the father and therefore the story is coming from. Also been there, done it and got a few of those T-shirts when it comes to the question of wanting to stop the merry go round and get off. However, it was unclear how exactly “everybody” got in on the act of assisting with the father’s exit. I don’t know if it was me and I just didn’t “get it” or there were other loose ends throughout the book which didn’t really tie up.

Aside from the lack of clarity on the family’s involvement en masse in the fathers exit, the story was also vague on the father’s relationship with Almalia and how it resulted in a child.

Also I found the young Mollie to be totally self absorbed and quite frankly immature. Her obsession with Chris was irritating. As for the older Mollie, as she aged and grew out of her teenage tantrums, she continued to display the same degree of self absorption in that she couldn’t understand and appreciate her fathers need to leave his miserable life.

All in all, it was a fairly good book but perhaps not the best.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Christineb
  • 17-04-2020

Can't deny living Diane Chamberlain

This is not one of my favourites I considered Molly's actions to be self-indulgent causing years of estrangement and pain Narrated well

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  • Sue
  • 15-03-2017

A new take on coming of age teenage angst. A good story, well told

This American family drama has it all: family secrets, teenage rebellion and its outcome, and terminal illness. It deals with some very difficult subject matter and still delivers a satisfying story with a good ending. Ultimately a heartwarming story which is well told. I enjoyed it very much.

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  • Diane H. Smith
  • 13-02-2017

Absorbing and involving

I thoroughly enjoyed this thought provoking and involving book. As with most modern fiction there were areas which stretched credulity but overall it was a lovely, true read. Well narrated and well crafted. I shall look to read more by Diane Chamberlain.

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