The Performance: A Novel

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Three women attend a play in Australia. Margot attends alone, trying to forget about her conspicuous bruises, and indulging in the way her mind wanders while the play carries on. Summer is an usher at the theater, and she’s seen the play many times by now. Her attention is on her girlfriend, April, whose parents are dangerously close to the raging wildfires nearby; Summer is frantically worried that April is going to put herself in harm’s way. Ivy, a wealthy philanthropist, attends the play with her friend Hilary, her mind never far from her young son. At a reception during intermission, the three women enter one another’s orbits, discovering unexpected connections. Each will go her own way when the lights go back down; their impact on one another is only temporary.

The separateness of Margot, Summer, and Ivy’s experiences during the play is a stark contrast to the shared experience of the theatrical performance. Even in a communal space, we can never know the minds of others–their history, their preoccupations, what awaits them beyond the theater door. The play will end the same way each time; these women’s lives are unpredictable, each one is a performance without a script.

Reviewed By:

Author Claire Thomas
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 240 pages
Publisher Riverhead Books
Publish Date 16-Mar-2021
ISBN 9780593329160 Buy this Book
Issue August 2021
Category Popular Fiction