Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter
Fortune favours the brave in Lizzie Pook's mesmerising debut novel, Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter
1886, BANNIN BAY, AUSTRALIA.
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 on these shores beyond shining pearls and shells like soup plates – the things her father has promised will make their fortune.
Ten years later and Charles Brightwell, now the bay’s most prolific pearler, goes missing from his ship while out at sea. Whispers from the townsfolk suggest mutiny and murder, but headstrong Eliza, convinced there is more to the story, refuses to believe her father is dead.
It falls to her to ask the questions no one else dares consider. But in a town teeming with corruption, prejudice and blackmail, Eliza soon learns that the truth can cost more than pearls, and she must decide just how much she is willing to pay – and how far she is willing to go – to find it . . .
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