'MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2021'
'A tour de force... I can't recommend this too highly'
'A potent meditation on the intensity of women's lives'
Charlotte Wood, author of The Weekend
'I loved and admired The Performance... Unmissable'
Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters
'Thomas writes these women with such wisdom and compassion, that by the end we are all transformed'
Claire Fuller, author of Unsettled Ground
'An intimate, intensely brooding novel. Thomas gently questions the certainties of modern life that so many of us take for granted'
Guinevere Glasfurd, author of The Year Without Summer
'Read it as soon as you possibly can'
Emily Bitto, author of The Strays
The false cold of the theatre makes it hard to imagine the heavy wind outside in the real world, the ash air pressing onto the city from the nearby hills where bushfires are taking hold.
The house lights lower.
The auditorium feels hopeful in the darkness.
As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.
Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.
As the performance unfolds, so does each woman's story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.