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The Motion of Puppets    by Keith Donohue order for
Motion of Puppets
by Keith Donohue
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Beautifully written, The Motion of Puppets takes us deep into a world only an artist such as Donohue could present. Imagining how life must be for you if you were a puppet and had others dress, move and talk for you is just one aspect of this novel. The other is a mystery wrapped in a fantasy.

Theo and Kay are married and in love with each other, but they also have separate passions. Theo is a professor writing a tome about Eadweard Muybridge, and Kay is an acrobat currently working with a circus. Fascinated by a puppet shop she passes on her way to work, Kay uses it as a refuge when she thinks she is being followed - and is turned into a puppet!

It is not so much how Theo and Kay finally get together again that is so interesting; in fact that part is a bit unsatisfying, primarily because of the abrupt end. Rather, the ongoing meditation on how it is to be a live puppet without the control we are so used to having is what makes this story special. Donohue's lively puppets in the hands of their giant handlers give us much to think about.

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