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.
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.