… for it is exactly the thinning of the ordinary that allows the unordinary through.”
Honestly the first half of this book was uniquely magical, unlike anything I had read before. Christabel is a plucky, imaginative child with a broken home life who infuses the world around her with joy. She and her siblings come upon the carcass of a whale beached on the shore and she claims it, not realizing anything that washes ashore is the King’s. They transform this experience into one that benefits everyone around them, creating a theater out of the whale’s body. That half of the novel was lovely and I was well entranced.
The second half of the novel is more a WWII spy novel and I don’t generally gravitate towards that for reading. There was a little bit of balance showing a few other characters lives during the war but for me it was a little too heavy on morse code, clandestine chats and changing identities. It was definitely well written and I think would appeal well to folks loving that genre but it was a bit too much for me. Cristabel’s abilities as a spy coming from her love of the theater was a lovely connection but I would have liked 100 pages less of the spy bits. Overall a new take on historical fiction which I really enjoyed.
Thanks to Knopf Doubleday for access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.
We’re one week from Thanksgiving here in the US, what are your plans?