by Betsy Burke

November 2004
ISBN: 0-373-25068-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

Mezzo-soprano singer Miranda Lyme is sort of having an affair with famed conductor/composer Kurt Hancock. It could one day lead to more if Kurt ever divorces his wife, Olivia. In the meantime, Miranda is swamped with her vocal lessons, her performances in the opera chorus, and her four part-time jobs. She’s so busy in fact that she’s willing to ignore the little nagging voice in her head that keeps asking her why she and Kurt have never actually consummated their relationship.

As Miranda struggles to uncover her dreams and reconnect with her father, an old friend, Patrick Tibeau, reenters her life. Before the curtain falls, Miranda will have to decide if she’s going to sing somebody else’s songs forever or will she finally write her own tunes.

Although it moves a little slowly at the beginning, Betsy Burke’s Performance Anxiety still gives an outstanding literary performance. The unique story is cleverly told, and as a whole, the characters are exciting, vibrant people who bring it to life.

It will be impossible for readers to not empathize with Miranda’s roller-coaster life. One moment she’s up, the next she’s down, but either way, it’s an experience readers will find themselves enjoying. It was a little disappointing to see Miranda let Kurt off so lightly though, especially after all he put her through. Kurt, of course, is one character readers won’t find likeable in the least. Betsy Burke broke the mold for manipulative, unfaithful husbands when she created him.

Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. Add Performance Anxiety to your to-do list today.

Reviewed in December 2004 by Natasha.

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