A transporting, irresistible debut novel that takes its heroine, Cristabel Seagrave, from the gargantuan cavity of a beached whale into undercover operations during World War II—a story of love, bravery, lost innocence, and self-transformation.

“Utterly heartbreaking and joyous ... I just disappeared into The Whalebone Theatre and didn’t want to leave.” —Jo Baker, author of Longbourn



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—her sister, Flossie; her brother, Digby, long-awaited heir to Chilcombe manor; Maudie Kitcat, kitchen maid; Taras, visiting artist—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.
RELATED TITLES

cover_9780593591529

cover_9780593607879

cover_9780593556481

cover_9780593584729