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

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The stench of death is a part of this coastal town, with the butcher of animals, fish, birds, and sometimes the humans that are considered less than human. The society ladies of Bannin cling to a puritanism, although their setting renders such primness absurd. This discovery made Broome — a sweltering, remote town at the edge of the Indian Ocean — the center of the world’s lucrative mother-of-pearl industry in the late 19th century. Many thanks to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

They arrive intending to pursue her father, Charlie's dream of making his fortune by taking up pearling, but it turns out to be a hard life, the unrelenting scorching sun and the unforgiving environment, with its surprising, often deadly, fauna and flora, and a profession with many diverse rivals, with divers facing life threatening challenges and dangers.Without revealing spoilers, I’ll just say that the author created her characters and the setting from real people and places. When a man accused of rape turns up dead, an Early American town seeks justice amid rumors and controversy. Through her bravery she not only finds the answer to her father disappearance, but she also uncovers a lot of secrets and corruption on the Bay. Narrating the story is the Angel of Truth, whom according to a parable God had cast out of heaven and onto earth, where Truth shattered into billions of pieces, each to lodge in a human heart.

The ocean: what riches lie in wait for those bold enough to take the risk, to be so reckless surely must come with it’s fair share of rewards for the foolhardy, yet you must be willing to sacrifice everything you hold dear should you want to gain that which so many have risked themselves for. The colonizers enslaved the Aboriginal people, paying them poverty wages, forcing pregnant women to deep dive, some dying in the process.

When her father disappears off his pearling boat and a native man is accused of killing him Eliza is determined that she must do whatever necessary to find him as she is not convinced her father is dead. With the early history of Australia’s pearling industry as a backdrop, Pook presents a story of mystery and adventure with a touch romance.

It is a siren song in the shape of a stone, sending men to lengths they never dreamed they would go. Over the past ten years since they came to Australia from England, he has designed puzzles for Eliza to solve. Though I wasn’t wholly captivated by Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, it is a solid debut, with a lot to recommend it.Pook captures the historical period with her wonderful descriptive prose, shining a light on and capturing the horrors when it comes to the racist treatment of aboriginals that beggars belief, their never ending nightmare, enslaved, brutalised, murdered with impunity, families broken up, forced to become pearl divers and facing daily abuse and violence. Set on the northern coast of Western Australia, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter takes place during 1886. Beautifully written, unflinching and brimming with adventure' - Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne and Elektra'Immersive storytelling, a rollicking mystery and a take-no-prisoners heroine' - Stylist1896, Bannin Bay, Australia. Lawhon weaves all this into a richly satisfying drama that moves suspensefully between childbed, courtroom, and the banks of the Kennebec River. 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.

Set in Western Australia during the late 1800s, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is Eliza’s story. However, the Starling doesn't come in until late in the day, and her father is not on board, he has gone missing and the assumption is that he went overboard, although rumours abound of murder and mutiny.

As she did with Nancy Wake in Code Name Hélène (2020), Lawhon creates a stirring portrait of a real-life heroine and, as in all her books, includes an endnote with detailed background. Beautifully immersive and undeniably moving, Lizzie Pook’s Australian Centred, historical debut was an absolutely breathtaking read! years later in 1896, a lonely Eliza is awaiting the arrival of her father's pearling lugger, the Starling, which has been at sea for over 3 months. Eliza and her family have arrived from England so her father can go into the pearling business hoping to make his fortune. Joseph North, whose role as judge in local court proceedings has made the victim, Rebecca Foster, reluctant to make her complaint public.

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