Quinn brings to life a remarkable cast of characters in her debut novel, destined for every award possible. Here is my book review The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn.
At the heart of this novel is the meaning of family. What is family? Is it blood or is it love? Joanna Quinn’s The Whalebone Theatre explores all ascpect of family in this unique and irresistable novel.
What is Family?
It’s 1928 and Cristable Seagrave is a young and headstrong girl on the barren coast of the English Channel where she lives in her family estate Chilcombe Manor. But most of her family is dead. Her mother died when she was a baby. Grief stricken, her father remarried but died soon after. And then step-mother married Cristable’s uncle and two more children are born. But Cristable is an outsider always, especially in the eye’s of her step-mother who is recklessly spending the family fortune.
When a whale washes up on the beach 12-year old Cristable claims it as hers…and her life will never be the same. Through determination and creativity Cristable, her siblings Digby and Flossie (who are actually her cousins) and a collection of household staff and local community members create The Whalebone Theatre. Drawing guests from around the region the theater becomes the lifeblood of Cristable and her siblings as World War II rears it’s ugly head.
Cristable and Digby will be thrust into adulthood and become British Spies in the war while Chilcombe crumbles taking the Whalebone Theatre with it. Flossie will become the unsuspecting matriarch of the manor, finding ways to keep it afloat. The war will seem endless as Britian’s occupation creates hardship for everyone. As friends die, faith goes with them, and Cristable will hold out hope only for the safety of Digby and a future back at Chilcombe.
A very clever take on the hardships of WWII through the eyes of the young and ambitious Cristable and her family. Heartbreaking and hopeful. Family is those you love and Quinn will bring this inventive story around to it’s satisfying conculsion for the reader…you will not want it to end.
Thanks for reading my book review The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn.
See last weeks book review Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
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