When Hedda Brandt and other members of Kurt Jooss's dance company flee Germany for Holland in 1933, Hedda imagines she is going to a place free from the prejudice and threats that have overtaken her country.
There they perform the celebrated anti-war piece 'The Green Table'.
Staying behind to teach dance when Jooss and other members leave the Netherlands for England, Hedda encounters Katje, a girl who has seen and been enthralled by the performance and wants to learn to dance.
But these are dangerous times and as Nazi Occupation changes all their lives, Katje watches her brother being drawn into Nazi sympathies fuelled by his admiration for his German piano teacher, Erik Weiss, a difficult man who also poses questions for Hedda.
Determined to defy new regulations that demand dance should conform to rigid ideology, Hedda is drawn towards resistance, but with her life more and more at risk, matters are only complicated by the prospect of love with a much younger man, Kai Hoffman, whose family have befriended Hedda.
Against a background of oppression, disappearances and terror, Hedda and Katje assert the power of dance, resistance and life in this gripping debut novel that takes real events and characters as its starting point.
Poignant, sometimes harrowing, and exquisitely written, this is an extraordinary story from a convincing writer. A sequel is scheduled for 2021.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 284 pages
- Publisher: Cinnamon Press
- Publication Date: 01/09/2015
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781909077768