Shortlisted for the Deutz Medal for Fiction.
In tango, there are no wrong turns. But every dance begins with a backward step.
This is where Louise and Schmidt's story begins, with a backward step, when they meet in a small town in New Zealand during World War I. When locals are stirred to violence against Schmidt for his German name, he and Louise take refuge in a remote cave overlooking the ocean. There, humming Argentinian songs into her ear, he teaches her the intimate rhythms of the tango-the dance that will bind them forever.
Years later, in her restaurant in Wellington, Rosa, Schmidt's granddaughter, tells Lionel the tale of her grandfather's affair with Louise. And she teaches him to dance.
'Jones crafts a vivid tale of love and the redemption of dance...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.' Publishers Weekly