Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter
Everything has a price. And the truth may cost more than pearls . . .
‘If I was lost on the ocean, would you come to find me?’
It is 1886 and the Brightwell family has sailed from England to make their new home in Western Australia. Ten-year-old Eliza knows little of what awaits them in Bannin Bay beyond stories of shimmering pearls and shells the size of soup plates – the very things her father has promised will make their fortune.
Ten years later, as the pearling ships return after months at sea, Eliza waits impatiently for her father to return with them. When his lugger finally arrives however, Charles Brightwell, master pearler, is declared missing. Whispers from the townsfolk point to mutiny or murder, but Eliza knows her father and, convinced there is more to the story, sets out to uncover the truth.
She soon learns that in a town teeming with corruption, prejudice and blackmail, answers can cost more than pearls, and must decide just how much she is willing to pay, and how far she is willing to go, to find them.
A gloriously rich and wonderfully assured debut, Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter is set in a mesmerising yet unforgiving land, where both profit and peril lie deep beneath the ocean’s surface; rendered with astonishing clarity, it is a novel that marks Lizzie Pook as a name to watch.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan/Mantle
Publication Date: March 3, 2022
This is a stunning debut. From the very first line, this novel drew me fully into its gritty yet captivating world. MOONLIGHT AND THE PEARLER’S DAUGHTER paints a memorable picture of ambition, sacrifice and corruption while exploring personal loss as driving force. I will never look at a string of pearls in quite the same way -- Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake
Gritty, lyrical, breathtaking. I couldn’t put it down, drawn in by its vividly-drawn characters and wealth of historical detail -- Fiona Valpy, author of The Dressmaker's Gift
This story of a daughter searching for her father in 19th Bannin Bay is exquisite. You can feel the swell of the sea and smell the fish guts. Teeming with atmosphere and a drama that keeps you turning the pages . . . [I] loved it -- Julie Owen Moylan, author of That Green Eyed Girl
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Lizzie Pook is an award-winning journalist and travel writer. Her assignments have taken her to some of the remote parts of the world, from the uninhabited east coast of Greenland in search of roaming polar bears, to the foothills of the Himalayas to track endangered snow leopards. She was inspired to write her debut novel after spending time in northwest Australia researching the dangerous pearl-diving industry. She lives in London.
Tags: Adult, Historical Fiction, Literary, Women's Fiction