Pretending to Dance 3 – The End (Pages 355 – end)




The ending of the novel is quite happy despite the sadness and hard times this family had to go through.

In the chapters in 1990 in the last family meeting, Molly is to stay with her grandmoth Yet, she plans to meet Chris in the spring house. That day she is excited about the night when she will see Chris. Her father tries to talk to her, and it is clear to the reader that he is saying goodbye to his daughter. Graham keeps asking her what she wants to be when she grows up and whether she will live on the property. Molly reluctantly tells him that she might be a counsellor like him, and she can’t see herself living anywhere else. That pleases Graham. Yet, the conversation turns bitter when Molly reproaches him how he is a hypocrite and doesn’t trust her with Chris, and Graham tells her that one day she will understand. Molly knows that her father wants a hug, but she storms out without bothering.

That night the atmosphere is subdued and Molly can’t wait to leave the house. She does hug her father when she leaves, but she does it perfunctorily and doesn’t have her heart in it. When she gets to her nanny’s, she finds that her grandmother looks haggard and untidy, but the woman just says she is tired. When the grandmother goes to her room, Molly hears her cry, but she doesn’t try to comfort her as she is too excited to meet her boyfriend. In the spring house Chris goes down to business, and Molly doesn’t stop him at all, and they have sex. After the deed, Chris makes some comments about her being too young and clingy, and he says they are just friends. Molly is so hurt that when she leaves the spring house, she wants to be with those she loves, so instead of returning to her nanny’s, she goes to her house.

When she arrives at the house, Russell, her father’s aide, is surprised to see her there. Then he tells her that her father is very sick, and when she gets to the room, Nora is with him, and she tells her that her dad is dying and she can stay with her. They watch over him, but Molly falls asleep and when she wakes up, her dad is gone. Molly is disconsolate and in the kitchen she sees her father’s pencil case empty, she remembers seeing her mother put some pills inside. Then she concludes that Nora had killed her, and she accuses her of murdering her. She even tells Russell and Amalia, but everybody tells her that she is wrong. Molly feels lonely in her beliefs, and from then she has always believed that her mother murdered her beloved father.

After Graham’s death things never return to normal. Amalia was finally kicked out of the property by Graham’s relatives, and Molly is angry that Nora didn’t do anything to prevent it. Then as she found living with Nora unbearable, she asked to be sent to a boarding school, and when she turned eighteen, she left home with the money she had inherited, went to university, and never returned.

In 2014 Molly gets a call from her cousin Dani, who tells her that Amalia has died of the infection in her leg, and she also tells her that Nora wants to see her. Molly says she can’t, and then Dani gets angry, calling her an unforgiving bitch and hangs up on her. As Molly thinks of Amalia, she finally starts sobbing, and Aidan, who is in the room, gets concerned, and finally she tells her about her birth mother and Nora, her adoptive mother. She confesses she never told him because she was afraid. Before Aidan there was another man she was engaged to, but when she told him about her family, he got cold feet and broke up with her. Aidan reassures her, but he feels that she isn’t telling him everything. The reason she has given him about her estrangement from Nora is that she was always cold and she felt she never loved her. Yet, when he insists that he knows she isn’t telling him everything, she finally spills the beans and tells him about her belief that Nora killed her father. After their heart-to-heart conversation, Aidan makes her understand that she needs to deal with her past and demons or otherwise, she won’t be able to move on, so in the end she agrees to see Nora.

She travels to North Carolina, and first, she goes to see Russell, who in the chapters in 1990 was in a relationship with Amalia, and he later married her. Molly regrets not having seen Amalia before her death, and she tells him about her feelings when Graham died and how nobody believed her when she was sure Nora had killed Graham. Then Russell tells her the truth. It was not only Nora, but all of them who killed him. In the so-called family meetings Graham persuaded the family and some of his friends to help him die. He couldn’t go on as he was, but he didn’t want anybody to be held responsible. So each one of them gave him a doses that altogether would kill him. It was Nora, who got the pills from the pharmacy, but all of them were in it: Russell, Amalia, her uncles and aunts, her cousin Dani, her father’s colleagues… The only one who knew about it but didn’t take part was Graham’s mother, who died a few months after him.

Molly is shocked, and Russell tells her that Nora took the blame and Molly’s accusations stoically as she knew it was her duty and out of love. Molly then drives to the property, who has totally changed in 20 years. The land was developed, and now the property is a neighbourhood. When she gets to the house, Nora is there and rushes to hug her. Then for the first time they have an honest conversation. Nora makes her understand that dying was what her father wanted as his life was a hell, and he had threatened to stop eating and drinking if they didn’t help him to die. Nora didn’t want him to have such a terrible death, so she and the rest agreed to help him. It is a pity that Molly was so stubborn and blind that she let twenty years go when she should have talked to her mother about the events in the past. They also talk about Molly’s life, her plans to adopt, and Nora confesses that the situation with Amalia wasn’t a piece of cake, but she loved Graham and Molly too much and was ready to do anything for them. I loved the conversation between them. This is something that would have spared so much grief to both of them, and it is such a waste. Then Nora mentions a letter that her father left her and she placed in her hiding place in the spring house, and Molly is horrified to realise that she never saw that letter. So she rides Nora’s bike to the spring house, and there she finds her old treasures, Chris’s photograph, and the letter. In it Graham writes a beautiful letter, and when she returns to the house, she and Nora re-read it and cry together.

The visit to her mother is cut short as Aidan calls her to say that Selinna is in labour. So Molly rushes back to San Diego, and Selinna gives birth to a girl, Natalie, and despite Molly’s fears, the girl doesn’t hesitate to declare that Aidan and Molly are her baby’s parents.

In the epilogue, a year later, Molly is celebrating Natalie’s first birthday. The house has been full with Aidan’s parents, sister, and her twins, and there is also Sienna and her mother, and Nora. I am glad that Molly got to patch things up with Nora and seems to be a fixture in her life. We know that Sienna is back in school and has a boyfriend, but she knows she has changed. Her presence in Molly’s life was initially frequent, but her visits and calls petered out as she got back to her previous life. I am glad that in the end Molly managed to drive her demons away, sort out things with her mother, be honest with her husband and have her daughter. Now she and Aidan are in the programme again as they want to give Natalie a brother and sister.

I love the novel. I was pretty sure what would happen to Graham and what Molly didn’t know. It was very sad but beautiful at the same time.


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