The Motion of Puppets: A Novel
A husband and wife are separated one night when she wanders into a toy store and is transformed into one of the puppets in a traveling show. As her husband attempts to pick up the pieces of his life, wondering what’s become of the woman he loves and dealing with the accusations of police and family alike, she learns the rules of her new life among other similarly-enslaved characters.
Beautiful melancholy encapsulates everything evocative and haunting about The Motion of Puppets, a reimagining of a classic Greek myth that fixates on the power of loss and how we confront the aftermath of a sudden absence. Theo’s storyline in particular is heartbreaking and enthralling, combining the best parts of The Fugitive and The Vanishing in stirring form.
Although Donohue avoids the larger implications of a world with magic in it–especially regarding Kay’s transformation–he does so in order to ground the story in real world emotions, making the transformation all the more miraculous for being the only use of magic or fantastic elements that we see; otherwise, this is simply a mystery with some darker moments.
The Motion of Puppets is like a Grimm’s fairy tale set in the modern world, warts and all included.