We are delighted to announce that the sweeping historical fiction debut Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook is now published in Australia (Penguin Random House). This spellbinding story set in 1800s Australia captured the attention of publishers all over the world from the very beginning, and we cannot wait to see it take readers by storm.
UK & Commonwealth rights for this dazzling debut were scooped up by Sam Humphreys at Mantle / Pan Macmillan back in 2020, and Australian rights were acquired in a separate deal by fiction publisher Beverley Cousins at Penguin Random House Australia in a significant six-figure pre-empt, while North American rights went to Carina Guiterman at Simon & Schuster US with Sarah St Pierre at Simon & Schuster Canada in another six-figure deal.
Pook is a journalist and travel writer herself, who was first inspired to write her novel after visiting a tiny exhibition about the Broadhurst family in Perth’s Shipwreck Museum and subsequent trips to the remote coastal town of Broome. Buzz has been building in the run-up to this highly anticipated debut – most recently, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald’s roundup of ‘the most anticipated books of 2022‘, and Stylist’s list of ‘fiction books you can’t miss in 2022‘, who called the debut ‘addictive’.
Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter has received a number of positive endorsement in the run-up to publication:
‘Immersive storytelling, a rollicking mystery and a take-no-prisoners heroine.’ Stylist Magazine
‘Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is a gorgeous debut. Both a breathtaking adventure story and a moving testimony to the lengths we go to for the people we love, it swept me away from the first page . . .A gleaming achievement’ Emma Stonex, bestselling author of The Lamplighters
‘Tense and vividly atmospheric, with a determined, independent heroine intent on the truth. It’s beautifully written, unflinching and brimming with adventure. I loved the journey to a world I knew nothing about – it’s gloriously transporting.’ Jennifer Saint, bestselling author of Ariadne
‘A compelling, atmospheric mystery set in western Australia in the late 19th century. Brilliantly manages to recognise the details of the time, including the injustices of colonialism and the pearling industry, alongside a rollicking adventure. A sure fire hit.’ Kate Sawyer, Costa shortlisted author of The Stranding
‘A stunning debut. From the very first line, this novel drew me fully into its gritty yet captivating world… I will never look at a string of pearls in quite the same way.’ Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake
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.