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Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter set in Australia

  • Submitted: 14th December 2021

A pearl of a journey to Australia with Lizzie Pook

This is a wonderful novel. Set along the Australian coast where the pearling industry is well underway, this is a novel which looks at the consequences of an industry which changes the land, the people who live there and those who have been the only ones to live here for years. A tale which illustrates the tensions and abuse aimed at the Aboriginal and First Nations people as well as illustrating the dark side of the glittering pearl industry.

BookTrail locations in Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter

Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter

BookTrail locations in Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter

Boarding Pass Information : 

Destination : A fictional Australian Bay

Author guide: Lizzie Pook

Genre: Historical fiction

Food and drink to accompany: cupcakes with pearl decorations, fish starter served in shells





BookTrail locations in Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter

This is stunning. More than stunning for a debut! Highly recommended and very insightful into the industry of pearling in Australia and the effect this had on the local, native population there. She mentions and thanks the Aboriginal peoples who lived off the land where the book takes place before they were affected by the events in the book and the industry at large. Well, this just made me want to read it straight away!

In a nutshell, this is an epic story set against the backdrop of the dangerous pearl-diving industry in 1800s Western Australia. At its heart, a young woman sets off to uncover the truth about her father’s disappearance. He worked in the heart of this industry at a very dangerous time….

Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter

BookTrail locations in Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter

Overall, the setting and prose must be some of the best, most vivid and captivating I have ever come across. Moreover, the prose captivates and evokes the heat, the remoteness of the landscape, the wild seas, the rivers and pearls…

The excitement and darkness of the pearling industry are exposed and explored here. What a fascinating world and the author has done some top research into this.  Very cleverly I might add, as you find things out by her words, play on words and characters thoughts as opposed to any kind of information dump. As a result, there are no unnecessary words in the entire book. Moreover, the novel  is a powerful and insightful look into a place and time, industry and community of the past.

Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter

For me, the most powerful aspect of the novel was the way the author shone a light on the local aborigine and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  The book and indeed history takes place on their land.  Poignantly, she carefully and considerately exposes the abuse aimed at them, the power of the invaders who were hell bent on getting the best pearl to the detriment of these people and their lives. What a captivating but shameful story – the author note explains the true history even more an explains how she has taken the story and crafted it into a fictional representation that she hopes will educate as well as fascinate the reader. Honestly, the story behind the story is almost as good as the book itself!

Lizzie Pook I salute you. I think I am going to invent the Pook Awards for a novel which is a literary gem, a pearl in a sea of fiction. This one would be my winner for sure.

BookTrail locations in Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter


Postcard details:  Access The BookTrail’s Map of Locations and travel guide here


BookTrail Boarding Pass: Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter

Twitter:  @LizziePook  Web: www.lizziepook.com/

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