In tango, there are no wrong turns. But every dance begins with a backward step. This is where Louise and Schmidt's story begins, with a backward step. Intertwining two love stories across three generations, the Booker-shortlisted author of Mister Pip takes us to Buenos Aires, New Zealand and Sydney. Louise and Schmidt meet in a small town in New Zealand during World War I. When locals pursue them, stirred to violence against Schmidt for his German name, he and Louise take refuge in a cave overlooking the ocean. There, humming Argentinian songs into her ear, he teaches her the intimate rhythms of the tango - the dance that will bind them forever. Years later, in her restaurant in Wellington, Rosa, Schmidt's granddaughter, tells Lionel the tale of her grandfather's affair with Louise. And she teaches him to dance.