Publication Date: 09/06/2022 ISBN: 9780241542835 Category:

The Whalebone Theatre

Joanna Quinn

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 09/06/2022 ISBN: 9780241542835 Category:
Hardback

£14.99


This book is scheduled to be published on 09/06/2022.
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Description

‘A wonderful debut. Actually, a tour de force’ — Sarah Winman, Author of Still Life

‘Utterly captivating… Written with great heart, humour and humanity, it’s the kind of book you want to escape normal life to read at every available opportunity.’ — Elizabeth Day, author of Magpie

‘This is a book that will be loved unreasonably and life-long, I believe, like I Capture The Castle.’ — Francis Spufford, author of ‘Light Perpetual’

‘Maudie, why are all the best characters men?’
Maudie closes the book with a clllump. ‘We haven’t read all the books yet, Miss Cristabel. I can’t believe that every story is the same’

Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there is no place at all for her in a traditional English manor.

But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach at the Chilcombe estate in Dorset, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag and claims it as her own, she is determined to do things differently.

With her step-parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic, drunken conversations eavesdropped through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie their maid.

But as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, jolting their lives on to very different tracks, it becomes clear that the roles they are expected to play are no longer those they want. As they find themselves drawn into the conflict, they must each find a way to write their own story…

Publisher Review

'The circus playfulness of the language, the old story of the great house dazzlingly refreshed, the kind heart and the witty eye, the deep understanding of a girl's need to be the hero of her own life - this is a book that will be loved unreasonably and life-long, I believe, like I Capture The Castle.' * Francis Spufford, author of 'Light Perpetual' * 'Utterly captivating. An epic romp with characters you cannot help but fall in love with and a plot that takes you in all sorts of unexpected directions. Written with great heart, humour and humanity, it's the kind of book you want to escape normal life to read at every available opportunity.' * Elizabeth Day, author of Magpie * 'The Whalebone Theatre has all the makings of a classic. And Cristabel Seagrave is the most gratifying hero. The war scenes often left me breathless: they are as good as you will ever read. A wonderful debut. Actually, a tour de force' * Sarah Winman, Author of Still Life * Quinn's story passes like a fabulous pageant, richly coloured and packed with incident, taking us from the lonely and unorthodox Dorset childhood of the extraordinary Christabel to the poignant aftermath of her heroic Second World War. Quinn has a sublime touch: Cristabel and her troupe are unforgettable, as riotous in comedy as they are heart-breaking in tragedy' * Frances Liardet, author of We Must Be Brave * Magnificent. As capacious, surprising and magical as the whale that lends its bones to Cristabel's theatre: a tale of intertwined lives and braided fates as deftly managed and heartbreaking as a Dickens' novel. * Rebecca Stott, Costa-winning author of The Days of Rain * 'Breathes fresh, bracing air into the lungs of the multi-generational saga - and the very form of the novel itself. Few people writing today can match Quinn for the energy and precision of her prose...' * Susan Elderkin, author of The Story Cure: An A-Z of Books to Keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise * I defy any reader not to fall in love... it transported me wholesale to another time and place and while I wandered its pages, I forgot the world for a while * Wyl Menmuir, author of Fox Fires * 'Utterly heart-breaking and joyous ... I just disappeared into THE WHALEBONE THEATRE and didn't want to leave' * Jo Baker, author of Longbourn * 'So immersive and joyous and glorious. I was completely entranced' * Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of Write It All Down *

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