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Julia Donaldson Book-Signing for The Tooth Fairy & The Crocodile

22nd June, 2024, The Steyning Bookshop

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The Dance Tree


Kiran Millwood Hargrave

A spellbinding historical novel set near Strasbourg in the 16th Century – inspired by the real events of the so-called ‘Dancing Plague’. In the midst of a blisteringly hot, pestilent summer, pregnant Lisbet tends the bees on her husband’s farm, until the peace is disturbed by the return of Agnethe, her sister-in-law, from seven years’ penance in a nunnery for a crime no one will name. Lisbet is moved by the stoic young woman and becomes determined to discover her secret. Meanwhile, both women are intrigued by rumours of a frenzy of women dancing for days in Strasbourg’s market square, and against a backdrop of mounting religious hysteria and superstition, passions are ignited and dangerous deceptions are uncovered. Simply perfect writing; raw, immersive and compelling, this story will haunt you for days. Review by Gudrun.