Pretending to Dance: A Novel

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Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She lives in San Diego with a husband she adores, and they are trying to adopt a baby because they can't have a child on their own. But the process of adoption brings to light many questions about Molly's past and her family-the family she left behind in North Carolina twenty years before. The mother she says is dead but who is very much alive. The father she adored and whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison's Ridge. Her own birth mother whose mysterious presence in her family raised so many issues that came to a head. The summer of twenty years ago changed everything for Molly and as the past weaves together with the present story, Molly discovers that she learned to lie in the very family that taught her about pretending. If she learns the truth about her beloved father's death, can she find peace in the present to claim the life she really wants?

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.

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More by Diane Chamberlain

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Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.

One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever.

It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love—and the life—she was meant to have?

A Library Reads Top Ten Book of October 2017

Praise for The Stolen Marriage:

"[A] well-crafted crime-tinged tale." —Publishers Weekly

"The Stolen Marriage is the kind of story that will grab you and refuse to let you go until you turn the last page." —All About Romance

"Readers will be sucked in immediately...you just can't go wrong with a book with [Chamberlain's] name on the cover." —Southern Pines Pilot

4.1
35 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Oct 6, 2015
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781250010735
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.

One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever.

It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love—and the life—she was meant to have?

A Library Reads Top Ten Book of October 2017

Praise for The Stolen Marriage:

"[A] well-crafted crime-tinged tale." —Publishers Weekly

"The Stolen Marriage is the kind of story that will grab you and refuse to let you go until you turn the last page." —All About Romance

"Readers will be sucked in immediately...you just can't go wrong with a book with [Chamberlain's] name on the cover." —Southern Pines Pilot

A vanished child, a family in turmoil, and a fateful phone call that brings the torments of the past into the harrowing present . . . the New York Times bestselling author of Someone Is Watching weaves these spellbinding elements into a gripping novel of psychological suspense—a must-read for fans of Laura Lippman and Mary Higgins Clark.
 
“I think my real name is Samantha. I think I’m your daughter.”
 
Caroline Shipley’s heart nearly stops when she hears those words from the voice on the other end of the phone. Instantly, she’s thrust fifteen years into the past, to a posh resort in Baja, Mexico—and the fateful night her world collapsed.
 
The trip is supposed to be a celebration. Caroline’s husband, Hunter, convinces her to leave their two young daughters, Michelle and Samantha, alone in their hotel suite while the couple enjoys an anniversary dinner in the restaurant downstairs. But returning afterward, Caroline and Hunter make a horrifying discovery: Two-year-old Samantha has vanished without a trace.
 
What follows are days, weeks, and years of anguish for Caroline. She’s tormented by media attention that has branded her a cold, incompetent mother, while she struggles to save her marriage. Caroline also has to deal with the demands of her needy elder daughter, Michelle, who is driven to cope in dangerous ways. Through it all, Caroline desperately clings to the hope that Samantha will someday be found—only to be stung again and again by cruel reality.
 
Plunged back into the still-raw heartbreak of her daughter’s disappearance, and the suspicions and inconsistencies surrounding a case long gone cold, Caroline doesn’t know whom or what to believe. The only thing she can be sure of is that someone is fiercely determined to hide the truth of what happened to Samantha.
 
Praise for Joy Fielding’s Someone Is Watching
 
“Someone Is Watching gripped me from the first to the very last page. Bailey Carpenter is a heroine who’s both victim and warrior woman, a fascinating sleuth who will linger with you long after you’ve finished this thrilling read.”—Tess Gerritsen
 
“Fielding pens a spiraling tale of paranoia and suspense, as sultry as a Miami night.”—Jenny Milchman
 
“An edge-of-your-seat read . . . With Fielding’s patented blend of complex characters and escalating suspense, she is in top form here.”—Karen Robards
 
“Engrossing . . . The characters pulsate with life.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“A gripping, fast-paced psychological thriller . . . Fielding’s story of one woman’s search for justice, understanding, and internal peace is nothing short of arresting.”—Booklist (starred review)
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