Whether you like novels about relationships or literary thrillers this book will give you a satisfying read on a number of levels. I enjoyed seeing the developing relationship between Lev, a Russian scientist previously involved in biological weapons, and Maya, who leads a simple life creating puppets and putting on shows. The contrast between them is marked, yet they create their own world, cocooned against outside influences. The feeling of impending doom and of threats beyond their control adds a poignancy and tension to the situation. A beautifully written page turner with a twist.
Lev is the name of the white puppet in this story. He is not a king but an ordinary man. A scientist with special knowledge, he has come down in the world, in that new Russia where physicists wash windows aand engineers drive trams. (In the old Russia they could too.) Dropped from research and unhappy with chauffeuring, he decided to take his knowledge abroad. Many of his colleagues have gone West. Lev decides to go the other way. Because in his childhood there was a painted box with a picture of the Taj Mahal. By such slender threads hangs our fate!