REVIEW: The Whalebone Theatre

… 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?

Published by openmypages

I am the Vice President of Clinical Affairs for a medical device company where my job is to promote the utility of the device to doctors. I have science and business degrees and have editorial experience in medical communications. In college, I served as an Editorial Assistant for a healthcare communications company and have served on two editorial boards for peer-reviewed journals. In my free time, I always have a book in my hand... or two or three! On average, I read 20 books a month. I have looked to combine two of my skill sets to review on Goodreads and promote books on Instagram that I love to other readers. I'm open to partnering with publishers as an influencer for book tours, giveaways etc.

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