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What to expect

‘Exceptionally brilliant. Immersive, sensual, compelling, ambitious’ – Marian Keyes

‘Intriguing, haunting . . . raw, beautiful’ – Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

‘I absolutely loved this book . . . spellbinding’ – Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den

The gripping new novel from Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mercies

Strasbourg, 1518. In the midst of a blisteringly hot summer, a lone woman begins to dance in the city square. She dances for days without pause or rest, and as she is joined by hundreds of others, the authorities declare an emergency. Musicians will be brought in to play the Devil 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. And then, as the dancing plague gathers momentum, Lisbet’s sister-in-law Nethe returns from seven years’ penance in the mountains for a crime no one will name.

It is a secret that Lisbet is determined to uncover. As the city buckles under the beat of a thousand feet, she finds herself thrust into a dangerous web of deceit and clandestine passion, but she is dancing to a dangerous tune . . .

Set in an era of superstition, hysteria, and extraordinary change, and inspired by the true events of a doomed summer, The Dance Tree is an impassioned story of family secrets, forbidden love, and women pushed to the edge.

Critics Review

  • Exceptionally brilliant. Immersive, sensual, compelling and totally convincing. Accessible, ambitious, The Dance Tree deserves to win prizes

    Marian Keyes
  • An intriguing, haunting novel pulsing with raw, beautiful emotion. Kiran Millwood-Hargrave effortlessly intertwines the stories of women tenderly and sympathetically, creating a novel in which female courage and resilience shines brightly against a brilliantly evoked backdrop of claustrophobic horror.

    Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne
  • The Dance Tree is, simply put, a stunning piece of writing. There is so much pain and grief and loss in it, yet in the end, it all comes back to the redemptive power of love. Sensual, gripping, moving.

    Louise O'Neill, bestselling author of Idol
  • Some historical novels don’t just describe the past, they transport you there . . . I absolutely loved this book . . . an exceptionally beautiful portrait of women from the past, told in the most spellbinding prose

    Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den
  • The Dance Tree hums with intrigue, grief and rebellion, oozes tenderness and love. Fierce as Lisbet’s bees, delicious as honey. A raw, intoxicating novel.

    Joanne Burn, author of The Hemlock Cure
  • Hugely tender, heartbreaking and warm. Millwood Hargrave embroiders the world of the book so beautifully, it is an immersive rich experience that plays on in your head even after you put it down.

    Sarvat Hasin, author of The Giant Dark

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