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The Motion of Puppets
Cover of The Motion of Puppets
The Motion of Puppets
A Novel

From the bestselling author of The Boy Who Drew Monsters and The Stolen Child comes a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice Myth—A Suspenseful tale of romance and enchantment

In the Old City of Québec, Kay Harper falls in love with a puppet in the window of the Quatre Mains, a toy shop that is never open. She is spending her summer working as an acrobat with the cirque while her husband, Theo, is translating a biography of the pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Late one night, Kay fears someone is following her home. Surprised to see that the lights of the toy shop are on and the door is open, she takes shelter inside.

The next morning Theo wakes up to discover his wife is missing. Under police suspicion and frantic at her disappearance, he obsessively searches the streets of the Old City. Meanwhile, Kay has been transformed into a puppet, and is now a prisoner of the back room of the Quatre Mains, trapped with an odd assemblage of puppets from all over the world who can only come alive between the hours of midnight and dawn. The only way she can return to the human world is if Theo can find her and recognize her in her new form. So begins the dual odyssey of Keith Donohue's The Motion of Puppets: of a husband determined to find his wife, and of a woman trapped in a magical world where her life is not her own.

From the bestselling author of The Boy Who Drew Monsters and The Stolen Child comes a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice Myth—A Suspenseful tale of romance and enchantment

In the Old City of Québec, Kay Harper falls in love with a puppet in the window of the Quatre Mains, a toy shop that is never open. She is spending her summer working as an acrobat with the cirque while her husband, Theo, is translating a biography of the pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Late one night, Kay fears someone is following her home. Surprised to see that the lights of the toy shop are on and the door is open, she takes shelter inside.

The next morning Theo wakes up to discover his wife is missing. Under police suspicion and frantic at her disappearance, he obsessively searches the streets of the Old City. Meanwhile, Kay has been transformed into a puppet, and is now a prisoner of the back room of the Quatre Mains, trapped with an odd assemblage of puppets from all over the world who can only come alive between the hours of midnight and dawn. The only way she can return to the human world is if Theo can find her and recognize her in her new form. So begins the dual odyssey of Keith Donohue's The Motion of Puppets: of a husband determined to find his wife, and of a woman trapped in a magical world where her life is not her own.

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About the Author-
  • Keith Donohue is the national bestselling author of the novels The Stolen Child, The Angels of Destruction, and Centuries of June. His work has been translated in two dozen languages, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. A graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Donohue also holds a Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America. He lives in Wheaton, Maryland.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 20, 2016
    In his latest, Donohue (The Boy Who Drew Monsters) adeptly blends reality and fantasy. While temporarily living in Quebec with her husband, Theo, circus performer Kay Harpe longs for the wooden marionette she sees in the window of an abandoned toy shop, the Quatre Mains. Fleeing a lecherous coworker’s advances one evening, Kay seeks refuge in the curiously unlocked shop and subsequently disappears. Left to conduct a desperate search for Kay on his own, Theo, a writer, must unravel the mystery with few leads to guide him. At the urging of his comrade Egon Picard, Theo’s circus stage manager friend, Theo probes the vacant Quatre Mains for clues to Kay’s disappearance, with unexpected results. As Kay falls in with a cast of oddball characters and learns to accept a life governed by perplexing fantasy world logic, Theo struggles to navigate a series of unusual situations that conspire to derail his search. Told from both Kay’s and Theo’s viewpoint, this narrative blurs the lines between the real and imaginary worlds. An inventive and suspenseful story told from an original perspective, Donahue’s novel examines how refusing to embrace the present and struggling to escape unavoidable circumstances can alter one’s life forever.

  • Kirkus

    Love pulls everybody's strings.The Harpers are new to Quebec: Kay works for the cirque, and Theo works at home, translating a biography of Eadweard Muybridge from French to English. Their hazy summer in the Old City takes a horrifying turn when Kay, drawn each day to a puppet store's front window, is chased into the store late at night and, somehow, turned into a puppet. To Theo and the Quebec police, it seems she has disappeared, and in a way, she has: into the back room of the Quatre Mains, where she and the other puppets are only permitted to move from midnight to sunrise and where her humanity begins to fade away. Despite a lack of clues, Theo comes to believe he can find her and is willing to follow wherever the trail leads--even when it means believing his wife is no longer human. Unsurprisingly, a willingness to suspend disbelief is crucial to making it to the end of this story, and fans of Donohue's earlier books (The Boy Who Drew Monsters, 2015, etc.) will enjoy this mixture of horror, magical realism, and mystery. The love story at the heart of the book keeps the two meandering storylines stitched together, though not gracefully. Devotees of Neil Gaiman and Steven Millhauser will appreciate Donohue's willingness to get weird and to dig into ancient myth for inspiration; others may just be irritated.A standard tale of suspense in a beautifully unusual setting. COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2016
    Donohue first drew our attention with the eerily magical "The Stolen Child" and has kept pace through 2014's "The Boy Who Drew Monsters", optioned by New Line Cinema. His latest work is set in Quebec, where circus acrobat Kay Harper senses that someone is following her home one night and ducks into a toy shop whose window display includes a puppet she finds enchanting. And there she herself is trapped as a puppet among other handheld figures that can come alive only between midnight and dawn. Her husband seeks her desperately, but how will he recognize her? A big push at BookExpo America.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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