The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

Joanna Quinn – The Whalebone Theatre

Date: 17th September
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre

Critics have lavished praise on Dorset author Joanna Quinn’s debut novel, one of this summer’s must reads. Her work is compared to Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles and Mary Wesley’s Camomile Lawn. ‘The Whalebone Theatre’ has been described as “an utterly captivating epic with characters you cannot help but fall in love with,” and a “sheer, undiluted delight from start to finish.”

Set in a big house on the Dorset coast and spanning the decades between the end of World War I and the aftermath of World War II, this multi-generational saga is by turns hilarious and heart-breaking. At its heart is the coming-of-age story of Cristabel Seagrave, a bookish 12-year-old orphan, who creates a theatre from the ribs of a dead whale washed up on the coast, in which she acts out the plays she finds in her dead father’s study. As she forges her own unconventional story she grows into an “unmarriageable” young woman working behind enemy lines in occupied France…

Joanna will be in conversation with Gail Marshall, Head of the School of Languages and Literature at Reading University, who has a special interest in women’s writing and history.