Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter: An Atmospheric Historical Mystery With a Courageous Heroine Intent on the Truth

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Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter: An Atmospheric Historical Mystery With a Courageous Heroine Intent on the Truth

Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter: An Atmospheric Historical Mystery With a Courageous Heroine Intent on the Truth

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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.

While I know what colonizers do to natives (as an Indian), the pearl diving community was new to me. When Eliza’s beloved father, the towns most successful pearler they have ever known, goes missing under more than just suspicious circumstances, the growing whispers and rumours start circulating and it’s not long before murder or mutiny echos off of everyone around Eliza. The story moves to 1896 and the focus of the story is Eliza’s effort to investigate the disappearance of her father. In 1886 Eliza Brightwell’s family - herself, her parents, her older brother Thomas, Uncle Willem and Aunt Martha set off from England to Bannin Bay in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia to start a pearling business.This is an astonishing debut from Lizzie Pook, Australian historical fiction set in the latter part of the 19th century with a memorable, strong and independent eponymous pearler's daughter in 20 year old Eliza Brightwell.

It was slow, so very slow, dragging, not building on the protagonist, Eliza or her partner in crime Alex. When British pearl-boat captain Charles Brightwell goes missing out at sea, rumours of mutiny and murder swell within the bay's dens and back alleys. The book also shines an important light on the indigenous people and how they were exploited, enslaved, and abused by this industry (truly horrific). Eliza stands out from the other women of Bannin Bay because of both her plain looks and her independent personality. Ten years later and Charles Brightwell, now the bay’s most prolific pearler, goes missing from his ship while out at sea.Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter by Aussie author Lizzie Pook is a historical fiction set in Western Australia in 1886. While the setting for this novel is particularly well developed, the characters often feel a bit flat, and there are many missed opportunities. We are they are treated worse than dirt, but we have very little insight into their daily lives, customs, and culture. Pook’s writing is reliably vivid, alternating between dense lyricism and free indirect speech with an old-timey diction.

Pook does provide some general insight into the industry, and thoughtfully acknowledges the appalling treatment of First Nations people by the white settlers of the area. Sergeant Palmer, a brutal man, arrests the first convenient Aboriginal who will no doubt hang for killing Mr Brightwell. However the opinions of most other people are not something that is likely to sway Eliza so she follows any clues she can.

Events culminate in the revelation of family secrets that lead to Eliza sailing the Moonlight, Father McVeigh's lugger, with the German Axel Kramer and the aboriginal boy, Knife, as deckhand, facing storms, sharks and saltwater crocs, fearless in her determination to find her father. I think the sensibilities of the author and myself wildly differ, and for this reason, I doubt I will read more of her work. Men only interested in money, and not at all concerned with the treatment of his those in his employ.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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