New Girl in Little Cove

Book Review – New Girl in Little Cove

If you’re in need of an escape – how about a lovely Literary Escape to Little Cove, Newfoundland.

With a whopping 389 residents, Little Cove offers everything Rachel O’Brien needs, even if she doesn’t know it yet. With a life ruled by the temperamental sea and simplicity, Rachel finds a new rhythm of life.

Thank you to HarperCollins and author Damhnait Monaghan for the early copy of New Girl in Little Cove to review!


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New Girl in Little Cove


Take a literary trip to Newfoundland: the island of the world’s friendliest people, the setting for the award-winning musical Come From Away, and home of the delightfully quirky and irresistibly charming debut, NEW GIRL IN LITTLE COVE (May 11; $16.99; Graydon House Books) by Damhnait Monaghan!

After being utterly scandalized by the abrupt departure of their school’s only French teacher (she ran off with a priest!) the highly Catholic, very tiny town of Little Cove, Newfoundland needs someone who doesn’t rock the boat. Enter mainlander Rachel O’Brien —technically a Catholic (baptized!), technically a teacher (unused honors degree!)— who is so desperate to leave her old life behind, she doesn’t bother to learn the (allegedly English) local dialect.

Stuck on an island she’s never known surrounded by a people and culture she barely understands, Rachel struggles to feel at home. Only the intervention of her crotchety landlady, a handsome fellow teacher, and the Holy Dusters – the local women who hook rugs and clean the church – will assure Rachel’s salvation in this little island community.

My Thoughts

What a refreshing and lovely story! I absolutely enjoyed the slower pace that Little Cove offered and really enjoyed seeing how Rachel navigated this world completely outside her comfort zone.

And although Rachel struggled to find her footing in this new town, new culture, she had some really great people in her corner to help her out. Between the teachers (especially the other new one), the Hookers (also known as the Holy Dusters), and Lucille, her grumpy landlady, Rachel does find her way and manages to carve her spot out in their world.

I absolutely adored the characters in this story. And, boy – some of them were definitely characters! But, regardless of their quirks, sometimes unintelligible language, and seemingly cold hearts, they wound their way into my heart and kept me reading to find out what was going to happen.

While the language was sometimes hard to understand and the characters sometimes came across as mean or uncaring, this was a beautiful story that captured my imagination. I had thoughts of Anne of Green Gables and her arrival in her new town…


Little Cove, Newfoundland, Canada

Little Cove, home to 389 residents, but a whole new world for our intrepid French teacher.

“I traced the route from Toronto to Kingston, then Montreal, and on to Quebec City – the farthest east I’d ever been. My index finger splashed into the St. Lawrence Seaway and drifted over to Newfoundland.

“Where’s the main part of Little Cove?” I asked. “You’re looking at it.”

Favorite Quotes

“We don’t have stars like that in Toronto…These stars were magical.”

“Sheila had a rule of three when it came to men: one on the way in, one on the way out and one on the side. I operated a similar system, but mine was for books.”

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About the Author

DAMHNAIT MONAGHAN was once a mainlander who taught in a small fishing village in Newfoundland. A former teacher and lawyer, Monaghan has almost sixty publication credits, including flash fiction, creative non-fiction, and short stories. Her short prose has won or placed in various writing competitions and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfictions. Her Lessons in Little Passage placed in the top six from more than 350 entries in the 2019 International Caledonia Novel Award. 
D. Monaghan

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