GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS by Katherine Govier

GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Canadian author Govier manages an energetically postured, if somewhat obvious, spin here--as a 30-year-old Toronto stripper (with a ""respectable"" Alberta background and ballet training) abruptly stops going through the motions in seedy cafes, moving to a new direction in giving, loving, and self-respect. The fun of ""mooning for the world"" is gone; she's been busted for kicking a drunken cafe patron in the chin. So Joan Sincere wonders if she should continue her life as one of that odd band of strippers: ""loners, hooked on being admired, on being the focal point of the desire of strange men, unwilling to be touched, unwilling to be real."" After all, years ago, Joan was an austere little girl in Edmonton, hooked on the magic of ballet. True, her father (could he have been inside like all those other men?) objected, struggling for ""possession"" of Joan against her mother. Yet Joan made it to London's Royal Ballet School, with friend/competitor Arlene--before going downhill: an affair with Joe, a sadistic, fascinatingly ugly American; pregnancy; the end of ballet, with the birth and immediate adoption of her baby; the eerie slide into stripping, back in Toronto, disowned by her father, nourishing her only joyful possession--her body. Now, however, Joan has met radio-show host David, who offers ""forward motion and a life in the world."" Isolated, proud, untouchable, Joan will be puzzled, angry--then awakened by David's love. And before Joan can make her final commitment to David and herself (in a dance of rage and grace), she will be dangerously assaulted by Joe (now in Canada) and will break from her sour past st her father's funeral. Govier strains a bit in painting Joan's formative background; the resolution, too, is rather pat. But the dance and strip-sleaze scenes are convincing, and it's a fast, tough, heavy-beat performance overall--flashing with Message about female pride and the artist beneath all that skin.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's