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Summary

Brought to you Penguin.

'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 12-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....

©2022 Joanna Quinn (P)2022 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about The Whalebone Theatre

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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So glad i took a chance on this one!

Beautifully written story and outstanding narration , A compelling and easy listen, best book ive listened too in a long time!

9 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

I have been totally absorbed in this story for the past week. The characters are wonderful and it seems so well researched that it’s totally believable. Really loved it! I think I will end up listening again.

6 people found this helpful

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Ohh! I loved this book!

A jewel of an enchanting book. Tender and funny. Sad and imaginative. I think I loved Flossie best.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best book I have heard for a long time

Fabulous !You must read this story or listen to it . So moving . No more words just enjoy it yourself.

1 person found this helpful

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Be prepared for late nights

Due to the unputdownable story and the fabulous narrative. Kept me gripped and so enjoyed something a bit different for a change. Bought this ready for my holiday but now have to start another search as I couldn’t stop listening……

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The best family saga in years

I cannot believe this is a first novel. The characters develop so individually over the long stretch of years that you want to know what happens to each of them.

Beautifully read.

1 person found this helpful

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Not for me

I Couldn’t get beyond the first 2 chapters . Trite and insipid read . Not for me .

1 person found this helpful

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A wonderful beautifully written story

Funny, clever, historic, caring, touching, sad and the best kind of pure escapism. Loved this so much.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful story

I really enjoyed this unusual story about family life in the big house, well written and beautifully narrated. Bravo

1 person found this helpful

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5 stars - Brilliant

A truly beautifully written story. I can highly recommend the Whalebone Theatre. I haven’t been able to stop listening to it.

1 person found this helpful