As a thespian and book lover, the title of the new book by Joanna Quinn drew me instantly in: The Whalebone Theatre. I didn’t bother reading the full description before diving in. The title was enough for me. I’m glad I skipped – some word may have given things away.
The Whalebone Theatre is a long, literary read set in the early decades of the 1900s, shortly after WWI and through WWII. It takes a bit for the title to make sense, but once it does, my fellow theatre lovers will delight in the memories and emotions the tale pulls out.
I admit that the social class and much of what goes on in the story (well, the first sections anyway) aren’t my cup of tea. I’m not romantic about the period, so I don’t settle easily into the lifestyle of the characters.
As the story deepens, and the title unfolds, I found myself more drawn in. It’s an eccentric tale, with an unusual cast of characters ranging from the sensitive, yet practical lead to the distinctive siblings, the bold maids, to the parent figures who I’m glad to never know.
Tragedy mixed with comedy, curiosity blended with expectations, The Whalebone Theatre is exceptionally written in beautiful language and truly pulls you into the era. The literary tale will carry you through intrigue and sorrow, adventure and pain.
I recommend this book for anyone who appreciates a well-crafted, Modern-era stories that involve British peoples, theatre, and bold women. You’ll find all these contained within the pages, along with frisky Russians, French governesses, and wartime adventuring in many unique settings.
Need more books to read? Check out these reviews at the MockingOwl Roost to find more.
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.