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Summary

Picked as one of Stylist Magazine's Fiction Books You Can't Miss in 2022.

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, and 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....

©2022 "Penguin Random House Australia (P)2022 Penguin Random House Australia

Critic reviews

"Tense and vividly atmospheric, with a determined, independent heroine intent on the truth… beautifully written, unflinching and brimming with adventure." (Jennifer Saint, best-selling author of Ariadne)

"A stunning debut...paints a memorable picture of ambition, sacrifice and corruption while exploring personal loss as driving force." (Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake)

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

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utterly gripping

What an utterly gripping story, kept guessing all the way through. So many twists and turns. Definitely shed a tear or two along the way. The reading brings the story to vivid life and you really feel like you're there with Eliza. Brilliance, Lizzie, bravo

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Atmospheric and descriptive

Very good presentation of the country at that time - unbelievably hot, dusty and difficult. A brilliant background for the story and the dangerous work of the pearl divers. Especially interesting if you’re a lover of nature and pearls as I am!