cover image Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance

Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance

Lloyd Jones, . . Dial, $12 (276pp) ISBN 978-0-385-34262-9

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.)