652: Joanna Quinn: The Whalebone Theatre

One blustery night in 1928, a whale washes up on the shores of the English Channel. By law, it belongs to the King, but twelve-year-old orphan Cristabel Seagrave has other plans. She and the rest of the household 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.

“..she draws herself as a whale beneath the waves.”

Joanna Quinn “The Whalebone Theatre”. Published by Fig Tree in 2022. Donated to the library by Joanna Quinn ❤️

Photos by Anna Iltnere / Sea Library

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