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Fiction Small Town & Rural

New Girl in Little Cove

A Novel

by (author) Damhnait Monaghan

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
Mar 2021
Small Town & Rural, General, Contemporary Women
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price

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-Winner of the 2022 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize (Romance)

-Indigo Books Most Anticipated Rom-Com

-Zoomer Magazine: Read and Recommended

When a new teacher arrives in a tiny fishing village, she realizes the most important lessons are the ones she learns outside the classroom.

It’s 1985. Rachel O’Brien arrives in Little Cove seeking a fresh start after her father dies and her relationship ends. As a new teacher at the local Catholic high school, Rachel chafes against the small community, where everyone seems to know her business. The anonymous notes that keep appearing on her car, telling her to go home, don’t make her feel welcome either.

Still, Rachel is quickly drawn into the island’s distinctive music and culture, as well as the lives of her students and fellow teacher, Doug Bishop. As Rachel begins to bond with her students, her feelings for Doug also begin to grow. Rachel tries to ignore her emotions because Doug is in a long-distance relationship with his high school sweetheart. Or is he?

Eventually, Rachel’s beliefs clash with church and community, and she makes a decision that throws her career into jeopardy. In trying to help a student, has she gone too far? Only the intervention of the ‘Holy Dusters,’ local women who hook rugs and clean the church, can salvage Rachel’s job as well as her chance at a future with Doug.

About the author

DAMHNAIT (pronounced “Downith”) MONAGHAN grew up in Ontario and Newfoundland. A former teacher and lawyer, Damhnait is an award-winning flash fiction writer with numerous publication credits. Her novella-in-flash, ‘The Neverlands,’ was voted Best Novella in the 2020 Saboteur Awards (UK). She lives in the south of England, with her husband, two children, and the family dog. This is her debut novel, inspired by the years she spent teaching in outport Newfoundland. Find her online: @Downith (Twitter) and learn more on her website:


Damhnait Monaghan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Little Cove is the quintessential small town no reader will want to leave. Newfoundland’s rich history is present in the delightful Irish-Catholic dialect, dry wit, and poker-faced slow burn of a romance that thoroughly satisfies. If you’ve ever longed for the Derry Girls to grow up and fall in love, gentle Jaysus in the garden, you’ll love this book.” — — NANA MALONE, Judge, Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

“Prepare to have your pants charmed right off by this warm hug of a book.” — Globe and Mail (Toronto)

New Girl in Little Cove is a fish-out-of-water romantic comedy set against the backdrop of one of Canada’s most distinctive landscapes and cultures. Anyone who loves Newfoundland will appreciate the attention to detail in these pages: the fiddle music and fish cakes; the scarcity of fresh groceries and opportunities for young people; the painful legacy of men lost at sea; and the incomparable Holy Dusters, who keep the local church tidy and the community together. If you loved Come From Away, don’t miss this charming debut novel.” — – Kate Hilton, bestselling author of The Hole in the Middle and Better Luck Next Time

“Monaghan paints a full picture of a mysterious little town, giving supporting characters compelling backstories without resorting to caricature. Fans of Richard Russo’s That Old Cape Magic, Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel, and Patricia Harman’s The Runaway Midwife will enjoy Rachel’s fish-out-of-water journey to acceptance and understanding.”

“Damhnait Monaghan has written a charming and funny novel about a come from away teacher finding herself, finding love, and sometimes finding more than she bargained for, in a very special part of the world. A fine storyteller at work.” — –Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

“A charming, romantic, and often comic tale of falling in love with people and a place.” — – Edward Riche, author of Today I Learned It Was You

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