Goodreads ~ 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?
There are two stories in this book ... Molly today in her late thirties and Molly in the summer of 1990 as a fourteen-year-old.
Molly and her husband, Aiden, are unable to have a child and are looking to adopt. As they get into the process, there are lots of forms and interviews ... and Molly is afraid that the lies she has told about her childhood will be discovered.
Molly grew up in Morrison's Ridge, NC, the only child of Nora and Graham ... Graham is her birth father and Nora is his wife, who adopted Molly. Molly's birth mother lived nearby, as did Graham's siblings and their families and their mother. Graham had MS and was in a wheelchair since he had no movement below his neck. He was a therapist who practiced "pretend theory" ... for example, if you pretend to be the sort of person you want, will gradually become that person.
During the summer of 1990, there were family gatherings. Molly became close friends with Stacy, who had no parental supervision. Molly stopped crushing on Johnny Depp and the Backstreet Boys when she fell in love with an older boy named Chris. The happenings of that summer still affect Molly today.
I liked the writing style and I thought the story was okay. It bounces back and forth from today to 1990 but the chapters are marked as to what the time period is. It is written in first person perspective from Molly's point of view. As a head's up, there is swearing and sexual activity between Molly and Chris, which was kind of yukky to read.