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Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance

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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, Schmidt’s 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 world’s most famous dances, Lloyd Jones’s novel is a virtuoso performance.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 14, 2008 – 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.
Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Aug 26, 2008
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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