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  • Published: 15 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241542835
  • Imprint: Fig Tree
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $35.00
Categories:

The Whalebone Theatre




A brilliant, beguiling story of inheritance, imagination, courage and loss, and of an irrepressible girl from a gloriously dysfunctional home who fights to carve out her own story.

'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 on through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie their maid.

With the arrival of a troupe of aspiring bohemians, Cristabel determines to transform the whale's skeleton into an open-air theatre: a place where her imagination can take flight and she can escape the stifling confines of the house. For as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, jolting their lives on to very different tracks, it becomes clear that the roles they were 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...

  • Published: 15 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241542835
  • Imprint: Fig Tree
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $35.00
Categories:

About the author

Joanna Quinn

David McKee is the creator of best-selling picture books, including the Elmer titles which have sold 2 million copies worldwide. His classic picture book, Not Now Bernard has reached sales of 1 million.

Praise for The Whalebone Theatre

'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'

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