Book Review – The Whalebone Theatre

Copies of The Whalebone Theatre on a shelf surrounded by other novels.

It's time for another book review! This review is on a gorgeous novel that covers a lot of ground - THE WHALEBONE THEATRE by Joanna Quinn. I read a preview copy of this book during the summer and was so excited about it I started talking it up to friends right away. As booksellers do, I also wrote up a pre-publication review to share with other booksellers and the publisher.

Much to my delight, shortly after THE WHALEBONE THEATRE was published in early October, I received a lovely card from Whalebone's author, Joanna Quinn, thanking me for my review. The card has a gorgeous photo image from Dorset, England, which is where much of the novel is set.

Myrna holding a card with a photo of the seaside in Dorset, England
I was so excited to get a card from Joanna Quinn!

This is my second thank you note from an author in a few weeks, the first being from Lessons in Chemistry author, Bonnie Garmus. I found it great fun that both letters came from England because England is one of my favorite places!

My mini-book review on THE WHALEBONE THEATRE was recently on Content Bookstore's social media. Head on over to their Instagram or Facebook to check out this and other staff picks. There are so many great book recommendations there as well as notices of upcoming events and other bookish news.

Here's my mini book review of THE WHALEBONE THEATRE by Joanna Quinn


This novel is extraordinarily beautiful but saying that simply does not come close to describing the wonder I felt as I read this story that is so full of action and suspense yet at times is so quiet and tender that it brought me to tears.

At the heart of the story we have Cristabel who we meet when she is but a motherless tot wondering why boys get to have oh so much more fun in real life and in books than girls do. The storyline travels across decades from the late 1920s through World War II and introduces us to a cast of characters, from the rich and well bred "upstairs" characters of Chilcombe Manor to the downstairs staff, all of whom are wonderfully complex and, yes, sometimes deeply flawed.

Oh, and did I mention that a whale, and later the whale's bones, are a character in this story, too? Yes, it's true! I'm so excited about this book that I've started talking it up to my friends already and can't wait to hand sell it this fall.”

The book was published in the UK before it hit the shelves here in the States. I was so excited for the book, I purchased a copy while I was in Scotland to bring home to give to a friend. I will say, I do love the UK cover which, I think, captures the story (and the whalebones) quite well, but the US cover is lovely, too. Check out an image of the UK cover below. Isn't it cool?

The UK cover of The Whalebone Theatre
The UK cover of The Whalebone Theatre

What have you read lately? I'd love to know!

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1 Comment

  1. Christi Craig on November 4, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Oooh I love this review! And I love seeing both covers (I admit, I am drawn to the UK cover more as well. And you bought it in Scotland to boot! Jealous! 😀 )

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