A novel about three women at turning points in their lives, and the one night that changes everything.
I loved the whole idea of this book: that while the most extraordinary life happens onstage, three relatively ordinary women in the theatre’s audience consider their most intimate fears and desires… Thomas writes these women with such wisdom and compassion, that by the end we are all transformed ~ Claire Fuller, author of Bitter Orange
Restrained and adventurous at once, The Performance is a cool, potent meditation on the private intensity of women’s lives… An enigmatic, elegant and assured novel that explores the power of art in revealing us to ourselves ~ Charlotte Wood, author of The Weekend
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The Performance by Claire Thomas
One night, three women go to the theater to see a play. Wildfires are burning in the hills outside, but inside the theater it is time for the performance to take over.
Margot is a successful, flinty professor on the cusp of retirement, distracted by her fraught relationship with her adult son and her ailing husband. After a traumatic past, Ivy is is now a philanthropist with a seemingly perfect life. Summer is a young drama student, an usher at the theater, and frantically worried for her girlfriend whose parents live in the fire zone.
While the performance unfolds on stage, so does the compelling trajectory that will bring these three women together, changing them all. Deliciously intimate and yet emotionally wide-ranging, The Performance is a novel that both explores the inner lives of women as it underscores the power of art and memory to transform us.