Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Audio Book Review: New Girl in Little Cove by Damhnait Monaghan

Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 11, 2021
Publisher:  Graydon House
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "After the local French teacher scandalizes the fishing village of Little Cove, Newfoundland, by running off with a priest, the school looks to the mainland to fill the job quickly. They want someone who can uphold their Catholic values and keep a motley group of largely unwilling students in line. 
The position is filled by mainlander Rachel O’Brien—technically a Catholic (baptized!), technically a teacher (honors degree!)—who’s desperate to leave her current mess of a life behind. She isn’t surprised that her students don’t see the value of learning French. But she is surprised that she can barely understand their English… Is it a compliment or insult to be called a sleeveen? (Insult.) And the anonymous notes left on her car, telling her to go home, certainly don’t help to make her feel welcome. 
Still, she is quickly drawn into the island’s traditional music and culture, and into the personal lives of her crusty but softhearted landlady, Lucille, her reluctant students and her fellow teacher Doug Bishop. But when her beliefs clash with church and community, she makes a decision that throws her career into jeopardy. In trying to help a student, has she gone too far?"


Little Cove, Newfoundland is an idyllic village where everyone knows everyone's business.  The former French teacher ran off with the priest (cue the gasping!), so there's been a bit of a scandal.  Enter Rachel O'Brien, who arrives from the mainland and takes over the new teaching position.  She is trying to escape some issues at home, so where better to start over than at Little Cove? She thought it was going to be an easy transition....not so much! She has a hard time understanding everyone's accent and doesn't exactly feel welcome as she is a mainlander.  Thanks to her coworker, Doug, and a group of women she met, she is starting to find her way.  The more time she spends with Doug, the more she starts to have some feelings for him.  However, things start to get really complicated when a student comes to her for help and she ends up putting her job on the line.  Much to her dismay, her time at Little Cove might be over shortly after its begun. Damhnait Monaghan's debut, New Girl in Little Cove, is a charming light read that was exactly what I was looking for.  

Rachel is leaving home for a good reason and slowly we learn why in New Girl in Little Cove.  She really wants to a fresh start and Little Cove seems like a good place.  It's so much harder than she thought. There's wonky accents, there's reluctant students who don't appreciate French, and not to mention people who don't want her there. Rachel has even received upsetting anonymous notes on her car! Plus, the school she works at is Catholic and Rachel is barely one, so she has to watch as she doesn't want to lose her job.  Finally once she starts to get acclimated to Little Cove and finds herself with friends, something happens and it puts her job in jeopardy.

The secondary characters in New Girl in Little Cove are memorable as well. I really enjoyed the "Holy Dusters," Lucille, and the community of Little Cove.  Doug is also a great character that I was rooting for him from the beginning and was hoping he and Rachel would end up together.  The other important character in the book is Little Cove itself. Images of Anne Shirley's Prince Edward Island kept coming to mind when I was reading this book. What a memorable and charming setting! It also reminded me a bit of the setting for Derry Girls since there's such a strong emphasis on the Catholic church. I loved the coastal community, the fishing, the church, the music, and Little Cove's Celtic roots. Monaghan truly brought it all to life for me.

I went alternated between reading the book and listening to the audio version of New Girl in Little Cove. The narrator, Marnye Young, did an outstanding job with the Newfoundland accent. It sounded authentic and it really added to the story. Young also really brought all the humorous moments to life as well and I found myself snickering throughout.

If you love a charming fish-out-of-water story, check out New Girl in Little Cove this summer. It's such a cute story and it was the heartwarming escape I needed. 

So, have you heard about New Girl in Little Cove? Is it on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below. 



  1. I want to read this specifically for the location! I've always wanted to go to New Foundland.

    1. It was such a charming location and my favorite aspect of the story. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  2. For some reason, I thought this was a children's book, so I'm pleasantly surprised to read your review! It sounds like a charming book.

    1. It really was. I was looking for something light and heartwarming--this was definitely it! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs