BOOK CLUB: East of Alice

Click to rate this book!
[Total: 5 Average: 4.8]

East of Alice by Annie Seaton is a suspenseful mystery, with a touch of romance and an insight into
pioneering settler’s lives, joys, and hardships in the Australian outback.

In 1886, William Woodford and his wife Rose traveled to Australia to settle in Ruby Gap, east of Alice
Springs. William plans to make their fortune fossicking for rubies.

In the present, Gemma Hayden, William and Rose’s great, great-granddaughter, has returned to Alice
Springs – this is where she feels at home. With university behind her and now a teacher, Gemma has taken a job at a local school.

Six years earlier Gemma’s life fell apart. Her twin brother Ethan disappeared, her boyfriend left town without an explanation, and her parents divorced. Gemma now doesn’t let anyone get too close because that way you don’t get hurt!

Saul Pearce has also returned to Alice Springs. He has been transferred from the Darwin Parks and
Wildlife Office. Some hikers have reported a dumped car in a remote part of the National Park at Ruby
Gap. Saul is quite familiar with Ruby Gap as he and his best mates would fossick for rubies and camp at the ruins of Ethan’s family’s hut.

Ethan’s great, great, grandparent’s land has been subsumed by the National Parks to create a nature park. Saul finds an old land rover half buried in the river bed. It was Ethan’s vehicle, and in the glove box is a note written in code addressed to Gemma. Saul decides not to give the note to the police, but find Gemma and gives it to her.

Saul has the difficult job of telling Gemma that her brother’s Land Rover has been found, but there’s no body to go with it.

There is no way Gemma can investigate and solve the mystery of Ethan’s disappearance without enlisting Saul’s help. What had Ethan been involved in or stumbled across?

Together Saul and Gemma search for clues, putting themselves in danger. As they work together, will the feelings they once had for each other resurface?

The historical accounts of Rose and William’s pioneering years, the harshness and the beauty of the
land, and the love Rose had for her children gave the story a second timeline into the past.
While in the present, life with sat navigation and solar power allows a very different existence in the remote outback.

Annie Seaton has done extensive research into the history of the area, and her descriptive writing
brings the outback to life, it is as if you were there.

East of Alice is a great read, fast-moving, with plenty of action, suspense, and unexpected twists before the truth is exposed.

Five stars!

A selection of our members are reading East of Alice by Annie Seaton. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

12 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: East of Alice

  1. East of Alice by Annie Seaton

    In 1886 in England Rose married William and the plan was to move to Australia to mine rubies to make their fortune at Ruby Gap east of Alice Springs. Rose did not realise how her life would change moving to the other side of the world with a man she really didn’t know. No matter what happens she wants to make the best of her new life, she has two sons and plans did not go as expected.

    Now we move to the present time. Gemma Hayden returns to Alice Springs. It has been six years since she left after the disappearance of her twin brother Ethan. When Ethan disappeared it tore her family apart. Now on her return she has a new job at the local primary school and is happy to return to the place she calls home.

    On her return she runs into Saul Pearce who also moved away from Alice Springs, he has also returned and is now a ranger for Parks and Wildlife. Saul is given an assignment to go out and look for a car that has been reported in the National Park and what he finds is the car that belonged to his best friend Ethan Hayden.

    Now all he has to do is solve the mystery of what happened to Ethan when he disappeared six years ago.

    The story was full of drama, suspense and even love. I really enjoyed the read and look forward to reading more books by Annie Seaton.

  2. Outback Australia, an interesting and vast expanse of a place to get lost. That is what Gemma thought happened to her twin brother. Their family past, the rubies of the great Australian north all hanging over them, is this the reason he went missing, Ethan?
    Rose and William moved to Australia to find Rubies, before the gold rush and in a time where the value of rubies was challenged by those already in the market. The move a huge deal to Rose, leaving all she knew, all that she valued, to join a husband she barely knows in a land of unknown and vastness she could only imagine. But a home, a family and life they make in the desolate NT near the now Alice Springs. At least that was until William returned to England to value his gems and never returns. Her world comes to a header and their life a history of the Hayden family.
    Returning to Alice springs, after years away, felt like coming home for Gemma. Her mum moved her away after the disappearance of Ethan and the disintegration of their family. Her dad consumed by the loss, her mum running away. She was finally finding herself, teaching and giving back to the Alice Springs community that she values, being that bit closer to Ethan, where ever he is.
    Saul moves back to NT as part of the park service. He was once great mates with Ethan, even fancied his sister, but to be of value to anyone he had to make something of himself, to be of value. So away he went, not knowing the hurt that he would cause leaving Gemma, returning only briefly when Ethan went missing, but what could he say then?
    Saul is sent to investigate a car in the gorge, familiar to him instantly, Ethan’s car. Is this the missing link, where was Ethan, does this mean he was dead or alive. And this means his distance from Gemma, it was time to come to an end.
    Follow along with Gemma and Saul, while they try to figure it out, try to piece it together, find the links to the past that will open the way to the answer behind Ethan’s disappearance.
    Romance, betrayal, suspense, danger, happy and sad endings, this book has it all. A heart warming story that has you hoping the whole way through. Thank you Beauty and Lace & Annie Seaton for this great read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *