Dancing on the Spider's Web, Sasha's debut novel, is set in the 1970s in the chaotic times she calls "The Winter after the Summer of Love." Sarah Glass, a med student, wins a prize for being outstanding and decides to give herself a month to live away from schools, hospitals and laboratories. She lands in San Francisco. Although she has long wondered if love is incompatible with relationships, she finds herself in romantic encounters with Gabriel Dinesen, a free-spirited charmer she meets on the street, and with Rory McIntyre, for whom she suffered a long-ago high school crush and who is now a struggling single father. Her subsequent adventures take her back to Napa, where she grew up in the 1960s, and to Mexico, home of her grandparents. Along the way, she learns things she might never have discovered in labs with cadavers -- and before she returns to school she has a vastly revised attitude towards just about everything, including love.
"In Dancing on the Spider's Web, Sasha Paulsen weaves her own irresistible web. Her characters are so alive in their complexity and her prose is so vivid that I began to believe Sarah, Gabriel and Rory must be living just down the street. All I wanted was to find out what they would do next. A sparkling and utterly engrossing debut.” —MARGOT LIVESEY New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
"A funny, joyful story of young love lost and found again in the tumultuous time of Haight-Ashbury. You'll adore Sasha Paulsen’s quirky band of misfits, especially Sarah, who fears love even as she chases it. A touching debut novel that takes you back to a bygone era when seeking mattered more than finding.” —SANDRA DALLAS, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Midwife
"Sasha Paulsen has set her debut novel in San Francisco, Napa and Berkeley in the pivotal '70s. She manages to deftly capture both the spirit of those times and the essence of a cast of zany, appealing characters. Highly recommended." —JAMES CONAWAY, author of Napa, The Far Side of Eden, and Napa at Last Light
Is love incompatible with intelligence? Sarah Glass suspects this is the case. The shy, serious medical student would be the first to tell you that the heart is merely a muscle that beats or does not, the latter to the disadvantage of its owner. A heart cannot soar, leap, melt, or break.
And this is why it's so bewildering when it happens to her.