Inside the Whale by Jennie Rooney

Inside the Whale

Jennie Rooney

Michael and Stevie were torn apart by the Second World War, circumstances were against them and they never met again, but they never forgot each other. This story unravels the past for both characters, and reveals startling family secrets that have been kept hidden for decades.
The chapters shift between the two main characters, weaving a story that becomes more entangled as the book progresses to its somewhat sad conclusion.

Extract

When we first met, I began by collecting an assortment of facts about her that I stored up and kept safe in a cardboard-box-shaped part of me. I wanted to know everything about her. I wanted to apply the techniques endorsed by the City and Guilds electrical courses that I pored over at night. I wanted to find ways of opening her up, observing her, passing electrical currents through her and recording her reactions. it was the only was I knew.
I met her on a Wednesday in January. My father had left me in charge of the dairy, and I was sitting on the floor with my back against the wall and my legs stretched out under the counter, a heavy textbook balancing on my knee. i was reading about spectral lines, me neck aching with the effort of trying to memorise the frequencies at which streams of darkness could be detected in sunlight.

Parallels
  • The Grass Memorial by Sarah Harrison
  • The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee

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