Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook


Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is an exquisite historical novel set in a mesmerising yet unforgiving land, where both profit and peril lie deep beneath the ocean’s surface…

Western Australia, 1886

As the pearling ships return to Bannin Bay after a long diving season, twenty-year-old Eliza Brightwell nervously awaits the arrival of her father’s boat.

But when his lugger finally limps in, it brings with it a tale of tragedy- Charles Brightwell, master pearler, has gone missing at sea.

Immediately, whispers from the townsfolk point to mutiny or murder, but headstrong Eliza knows her father; she is sure he is still alive. As the Bay swelters under the heat of the approaching wet season, it falls to Eliza to seek out the truth behind her eccentric father’s disappearance.

But as she delves beneath the glamorous veneer of south sea pearling, she discovers that the sun-baked streets she thought she knew so well are teeming with corruption, prejudice and blackmail.

How far is she willing to go to solve the mystery and save the ones she loves? And what family secrets will come to haunt her along the way? Because the truth may cost more than pearls – and she must decide if she’s willing to pay the price . . .

A gloriously rich and wonderfully assured debut, Lizzie Pook’s Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter tells the story of a daughter, a family, a place and a hidden history; rendered with astonishing clarity, it is a novel that marks Lizzie Pook as a name to watch.

‘A stunning debut’ Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake

‘A luscious, mysterious, adventure novel set in the halcyon days of Australia’s lucrative pearl industry . . . Pook spins an expert tale of corruption, fate and family.’ Adriana Trigiani, author of The Good Left Undone

‘Gritty, lyrical, breathtaking. I couldn’t put it down’ Fiona Valpy, author of The Dressmaker’s Gift

‘A lush mystery with a vivid and unique setting, wonderous prose, layered characters and a satisfying end. Pook has crafted a historical adventure I won’t forget!’ T.A. Willberg, author of Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder

‘A compelling, atmospheric mystery. Brilliantly manages to recognise the injustices of colonialism and the pearling industry, alongside a rollicking adventure. A sure-fire hit.’ Kate Sawyer, author of The Stranding