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The Motion of Puppets: A Novel
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Published:
Picador 2016
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

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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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/04/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250057211
ASIN:
B01CXON4T4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue. (2016). The Motion of Puppets: A Novel. Picador.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue. 2016. The Motion of Puppets: A Novel. Picador.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue, The Motion of Puppets: A Novel. Picador, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue. The Motion of Puppets: A Novel. Picador, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:38:58
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: 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.
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fullDescription

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.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Post
      • content:

        "At once old and new, borrowed and original, The Motion of Puppets disdains both genre and mainstream expectations to turn readers' attention to the permeable boundary between life and its mimicry."

      • premium: False
      • source: The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Coraline...Underneath all the changes, [Donohue's] story has the emotional depth, the love and grief of the old myth, only transposed to the sad, leaves-falling October Country of the mind."
      • premium: False
      • source: Real Simple
      • content: "[Donohue's] intricately plotted narrative blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. While a love story at heart, this inventive tale is suspenseful and absorbing. You will never look at a toy store the same way again."
      • premium: False
      • source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
      • content: "Think of it as Toy Story, if it had been written by Stephen King....Donohue is adept at creating brilliantly imagined worlds that offer both menace and allure. The Motion of Puppets is cunningly strange and hypnotic, and you're likely to find yourself drawn into its seductive peculiarities....It seems merely like a magically effortless and enchanting piece of storytelling. But don't be surprised if you notice a twinge of existential dread begin to build after you've finished the last page."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2016
        Donohue's masterpiece of psychological horror will change the way you look at puppets forever. Kay, an acrobat, and her husband, Theo, a French professor, are spending the summer in the old portion of Quebec City while Kay performs and Theo translates the biography of the pioneering photographer of motion, Eadweard Muybridge (whose macabre and intriguing real life adds wonderful depth to the story). One night, Kay walks home alone, frightened and disoriented, and stumbles across an old toy store. Here she is transformed into a puppet and held prisoner in the back of the shop, where all the puppets come alive between midnight and dawn. Theo, desperately searching for his vanished beloved, finds connections to the old toy shop but is having trouble believing the puppets may be alive; meanwhile, Kay is slowly forgetting the human world she came from and is embracing her life as a puppet with her new friends. Intricately plotted, absorbing, and suspenseful, this is a moving, modern story set in what feels like a fairy-tale world but is actually terrifyingly realistic. It is a tale of true love and the beauty of the mechanics of motion all wrapped up in one awesomely creep-tastic package. Give this to readers who loved Ellen Datlow's The Doll Collection (2015) as well as fans of Neil Gaiman, Steven Millhauser, or Elizabeth McCracken.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 1, 2016

        Donohue's (The Stolen Child; The Boy Who Drew Monsters) fascinatingly bizarre new tale finds newlyweds Theo and Kay in Quebec City, where Kay performs with the cirque and Theo translates a photographer's biography. Although the couple is caught up in the romance of early marriage, it's clear they often lead separate lives. After a performance, Kay suspects she is being followed home and ducks into the Quatre Mains, a mysterious local toy shop that she loves. She never makes it home. The next morning Theo frantically searches for his wife, while Kay awakens to discover she is being turned into a puppet. From there the novel follows parallel stories of Theo's desperate search, and Kay's adaptation to her new life. Kay's story is particularly intriguing as she finds new strength as a puppet, even though much of her life is controlled by those who pull her strings. If Theo finds Kay, recognizes her, and can get her to leave with him, then she can return to her human form. VERDICT Patterned after the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, this dark tale embodies relationships, memory, choice, and consequences. Donohue's compelling characters and engaging worldbuilding will please the author's fans and readers looking for a well-developed fantasy. [See Prepub Alert, 4/3/16.]--Katie Lawrence, Grand Rapids, MI

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2016
        Love pulls everybodys 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 stores 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 leadseven 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 Donohues 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 Donohues 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(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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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...

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