From Kiran Millwood Hargrave, the bestselling author of The Mercies, The Dance Tree is a heart-stopping story of family secrets, forbidden love and women pushed to the edge.
'Exceptionally brilliant. Immersive, sensual, compelling and totally convincing. Accessible, ambitious, The Dance Tree deserves to win prizes' Marian Keyes
In Strasbourg, in the boiling hot summer of 1518, a plague strikes the women of the city. First it is just one - a lone figure, dancing in the town square - but she is joined by more and more and the city authorities declare an emergency. Musicians will be brought in. The devil will be danced out of these women.
Just beyond the city's limits, pregnant Lisbet lives with her mother-in-law and husband, tending the bees that are their livelihood. Her best friend Ida visits regularly and Lisbet is so looking forward to sharing life and motherhood with her. And then, just as the first woman begins to dance in the city, Lisbet's sister-in-law Nethe returns from six years penance in the mountains for an unknown crime. No one - not even Ida - will tell Lisbet what Nethe did all those years ago, and Nethe herself will not speak a word about it.
It is the beginning of a few weeks that will change everything for Lisbet - her understanding of what it is to love and be loved, and her determination to survive at all costs for the baby she is carrying. Lisbet and Nethe and Ida soon find themselves pushing at the boundaries of their existence - but they're dancing to a dangerous tune.