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The Whalebone Theatre

About the Book

The Whalebone Theatre

A transporting, irresistible debut novel that takes its heroine, Cristabel Seagrave, from the gargantuan cavity of a beached whale into undercover operations during World War II --- a story of love, bravery, lost innocence and self-transformation.

One blustery night in 1928, a whale washes up on the shores of the English Channel. By law, it belongs to the King, but 12-year-old orphan Cristabel Seagrave has other plans. She and the rest of the household --- her sister, Flossie; her brother, Digby, long-awaited heir to Chilcombe manor; Maudie Kitcat, kitchen maid; Taras, visiting artist --- build a theatre from the beast’s skeletal rib cage. Within the Whalebone Theatre, Cristabel can escape her feckless stepparents and brisk governesses, and her imagination comes to life.

As Cristabel grows into a headstrong young woman, World War II rears its head. She and Digby become British secret agents on separate missions in Nazi-occupied France --- a more dangerous kind of playacting, it turns out, and one that threatens to tear the family apart.

The Whalebone Theatre
by Joanna Quinn

  • Publication Date: October 4, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • ISBN-10: 0593321707
  • ISBN-13: 9780593321706