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Here at the End of the World We Learn to Danceby Lloyd Jones
Synopses & Reviews
In tango, there are no wrong turns. But every dance begins with a backward step.
Taking his cue from the tango, the acclaimed author of Mister Pip has written a thrilling and sensuous novel about how we fall in love.
Ranging from rural New Zealand during the final days of World War I to Buenos Aires at mid-century to the present day, this masterful novel intertwines two love stories across three generations. The deep suspicions of an isolated community in the midst of war force Louise and Schmidt—two near-strangers—to hide in a cave overlooking the ocean. Desperate for solace, Schmidt teaches Louise the tango, and the iconic dance becomes their mutual obsession and the trigger for an affair that will span continents.
Years later, Schmidts granddaughter, keeper of the family secrets, owns a restaurant in Wellington where a shy young student named Lionel washes the dishes. One day she snaps her fingers in his direction and says: “I need to dance.”
Brilliantly evoking the seductive power of one of the worlds most famous dances, Lloyd Joness novel is a virtuoso performance.
"Jones (Mr. Pip) crafts a vivid tale of love and the redemption of dance. Argentinean piano tuner Paul Schmidt arrives in New Zealand near the end of WWI. He meets Louise Cunningham, who hides him when ruffians decide to kill Schmidt because his name sounds German. In their makeshift camp, Schmidt teaches Louise the tango. After Paul returns to Buenos Aires, he receives a letter from Louise, who admits she fell in love during their first dance. The pair keep their love alive through letters, even when they are oceans apart and eventually marry other people. The letters later provide clues for Paul's granddaughter, Rosa, who moves to New Zealand and is curious about Paul's mysterious past. Lionel, a university student and dishwasher in Rosa's restaurant, traces Paul and Louise's story, seeing parallels to his own ill-fated love for the older (and married) Rosa. Just as Paul taught Louise, Rosa teaches Lionel how to tango. With his elegant language, Jones moves gracefully between the two stories and time periods, capturing the sensuous interplay between partners in dance and in life. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Lloyd Jones was born in New Zealand in 1955. His previous novels and collections of stories include the award-winning The Book of Fame, Biografi, a New York Times Notable Book, Choo Woo, Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance and Paint Your Wife. Lloyd Jones lives in Wellington.
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