An exquisite historical novel set in a mesmerising yet unforgiving land, where both profit and peril lie deep beneath the ocean's surface… Named one of the best historical fiction books of the year in The Times (UK).
'Lizzie Pook's meticulous research delivers an extraordinarily vivid tale in Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter. Readers will fall in love with the characters in this book, especially the courageous, stubborn Eliza, and will find themselves transported to Bannin Bay in the late 1800s. I could not put this book down. Lizzie Pook is an author to watch!' KELLY RIMMERSHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 WILBUR SMITH ADVENTURE WRITING PRIZE
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.
'With a dauntless heroine, a vivid portrayal of a multi-racial community and its cruel underside, and captivating descriptions of uniquely beautiful and perilous tropical environs, it's an unusually lush historical adventure.' Sydney Morning Herald
'If you like your historical fiction with a dose of mystery, you'll love this.' Daily Telegraph
'Intricate and mesmerising, overall a fascinating insight into 19th century Western Australia.' Historical Novel Society
'Pook's debut is a lively tale with a gutsy, likeable heroine.' Sunday Times
'Immersive storytelling, a rollicking mystery and a take-no-prisoners heroine.' Stylist Magazine
'A stunning debut' Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake
'An absolute gem.' Women's Weekly (UK)
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
In her atmospheric novel, Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter, Pook draws the reader into life in 1890s Western Australia in all its gritty reality, with her mesmerizing, poetic language-a vibrant page-turner not to be missed.' Leslie Howard, author of The Brideship Wife
'A jewel of a book by a uniquely compelling new voice in historical mystery.' Susanna Kearsley, author of The Firebird and The Vanished Days