Joanna Quinn The Whalebone Theatre


Our Choice of 2023 Fiction

Code 9780241994146
Add to Basket


'A tour de force' Sarah Winman, author of Still Life

This is the story of an old English manor house by the sea, with crumbling chimneys, draping ivy and a library full of dusty hardbacks. It's the story of the three children who grow up there, and the adventures they create for themselves while the grown-ups entertain endless party guests.

This is the story of a whale that washes up on a beach, whose bones are claimed by a twelve-year-old girl with big ambitions and an even bigger imagination. An unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, fiercely determined to do things differently.

But as the children grow to adulthood, another story has been unfolding in the wings. And when the war finally takes centre stage, they find themselves cast, unrehearsed, into roles they never expected to play.

They raised themselves on stories. Now it's time for them to write their own...

'One of those big chunky stories that swallows you whole' The Times

'Beautifully compulsive ... The Whalebone Theatre will feel like a much-loved book even if you're reading it for the first time' Red Magazine

'Pure heaven, from first word to last' Sunday Times

Delivery Info

We provide FREE delivery in the Republic of Ireland when you spend €49 or more. 

FREE Click & Collect from The Ennis Bookshop. You will not be charged for this service.  We are happy to arrange Delivery outside Ireland. Please e-mail us at for more information. 

Find out more about our Delivery & Collection services

Returns Policy

We want you to be completely satisfied with your order and we would hope to resolve any problems you may have. If you are unhappy with your purchase, we will exchange or refund the item or issue a credit note, providing the goods are not damaged and all packaging is still intact.

Terms and conditions apply.

Please view our full Returns Policy for further information.

Click to view complete product details

'Destined to become a classic . . . Elegantly written and totally immersive, Quinn's debut is a wonder'
- Daily Mail

'Quinn creates a world so rich with observation, detail, humanity and heart that you are incapable of doing anything but drinking it in with greedy delight'
- YOU magazine

'My book of the year. I adored this beautifully compulsive story with serious Cazalet vibes. Wild and wilful Cristabel was the perfect heroine'
- Red Magazine, The 10 Best Books of 2022

'In classic English Country House novel style, The Whalebone Theatre focuses on the younger generation amidst a backdrop of scandalous adult misbehaviour. This is a chunky novel to get lost in, full of pacy plotting and luscious language'
- The Independent

'The Whalebone Theatre is absolute aces ... Quinn's imagination and adventuresome spirit are a pleasure to behold'
- New York Times

'I was swept away by this compelling, beautifully written debut and its plucky heroine'
- Good Housekeeping

'One of those big chunky stories that swallows you whole - and it's beautifully written too'
- The Times

'Written with heart and humour'
- Psychologies

'[A] brilliant debut ... A truly immersive read. The plot unfolds gradually, allowing you to really connect with the characters, all of whom are very real with their fears and foibles ... Fascinating'
- Dorset Magazine


POP-IN HTML goes here


Your Basket

Your basket is currently empty