I am a sucker for pretty covers (by @katietookedesign
So that is definitely one thing that drew me to this book.
The Dance Tree
Five stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’m also a sucker for historical fiction.
And this story is based on a fascinating true event that happened in 16th century Strasbourg.
During a hot summer, Lisbet, farmer’s wife and beekeeper, meets her sister in law Agnethe for the first time. She has been banished the past 7 years to complete a penance but nobody tells Lisbet why.
Life on the farm is not easy and ruled by husbands, the clergy and the Twelve.
Lisbet is pregnant and afraid to lose this baby as well. She secretly takes refuge under a dance tree, where in pagan tradition she places symbols to deal with her grief.
Then, one day one woman starts dancing for days on end without stopping. When others join her it is declared a plague, a mania, the patriarchy tries to stop it and all hell seems to break loose.
The stories of Lisbet and the women in this book interlace through their suffering, their love, their loss, their friendship, their womanhood.
Although I loved the poetic and lyrical way of writing, it took some pages to get into the story.
The author immersed me into the 16th century hardships of women. Patriarchy, religion, homophobia, racism, love, child loss, pain… It sounds like a horrible setting. And yet there is hope, belief in the good, love, and the connections of women.
I absolutely love this book and am buying more from @kiran_mh