We are so thrilled to announce that Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, award-winning journalist Lizzie Pook‘s captivating debut, publishes in UK hardback today (Pan Macmillan / Mantle). Set in the beautifully harsh landscape of Western Australia against a backdrop of dangerous pearl-diving, crocodiles, and storms, this unique historical novel tells the story of Eliza Brightwell, a 20-year-old English woman who sets off to uncover the truth about her eccentric father after he goes missing under suspicious circumstances.

This highly anticipated debut was recently published to huge fanfare in Australia (Penguin Random House Australia), and will be available  in the US and Canada in June 2022 (Simon & Schuster).

Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter has been described by reviewers as ‘stunning’ and ‘vividly atmospheric’, and it has been fantastic to see all the early buzz surrounding this novel as it was included in roundups from Woman and Home, Sunday Times Magazine, Stylist, OK! Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter was also chosen as Hive’s Book of the Month (March 2022). Excitingly, Lizzie will be in conversation at Waterstones Bristol on April 8th, along with two other wonderful debut authors from the Madeleine Milburn Agency – click here to find out more, and to reserve your free tickets!

Pre-publication reviews of Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter have captured the novel’s compelling lyricism, heralding Lizzie as ‘one to watch’ – read a selection of them below:

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. The descriptions of the sea are wondrous and vivid, while Eliza is a passionate and memorable lead. It’s a novel about treasures lost and found, the secrets of the ocean and the hidden depths of the human heart. A gleaming achievement.’ Emma Stonex, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lamplighters

‘This is a stunning debut. From the very first line, this novel drew me fully into its gritty yet captivating world. Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter paints a memorable picture of ambition, sacrifice and corruption while exploring personal loss as driving force. I will never look at a string of pearls in quite the same way.’  Charmaine Wilkerson, New York Times bestselling author of Black Cake

‘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, bestselling author of The Brideship Wife

‘Gritty, lyrical, breathtaking. I couldn’t put it down, drawn in by its vividly-drawn characters and wealth of historical detail.’ Fiona Valpy, bestselling author of The Dressmaker’s Gift

‘Adventure, feminist heroine, crocodiles and jellyfish, dangerous men, secrets, grief love and hope… It’s not just good, it’s important. Lizzie shines a light on a dark part of British history with grace, skill, sensitivity and honesty. I LOVED IT.’ Nikki May, author of Wahala

‘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 Rimmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Warsaw Orphan

‘A jewel of a book, by a uniquely compelling new voice in historical mystery.’ Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author of The Firebird and The Vanished Days

We cannot wait for readers to discover Eliza’s world…


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…

Congratulations on this special day, Lizzie! Readers in the UK can get their hands on a copy of this stunning book here.