BOOK CLUB: Undara

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10 of our Beauty and Lace members are reading Undara by Annie Seaton. You can read their feedback in the comments section below, or contribute to the conversation with your own thoughts on the book. Review copies are courtesy of the publisher.

Author: Annie Seaton
Publisher: Harlequin Mira – Fiction
ISBN: 9781489261694


When entomologist Emlyn Rees arrives at Hidden Valley she wants nothing more than to escape her marriage breakdown by burying herself in the research team’s hunt for new species of insects in the depths of the dramatic Undara lava tubes. However, little does she suspect she will be the key to solving a mystery that’s more than one hundred years old. 

Travis Carlyle is initially resistant to letting some city folks tramp over his cattle station, but soon the researchers’ findings and a growing friendship with Emlyn bring opportunities to turn around his struggling farm. With a broken marriage behind him and children to care for, Travis needs to plan for the future and this could be his family’s best chance.

But when things start going wrong for the farm and around the dig site, Emlyn and Travis are at a loss to understand why. Are they cursed with bad luck, or is there a more sinister force at play? Are the tall tales of enigmatic stockman Bluey turning true? As the unseen saboteur grows bolder, Emlyn and Travis are caught in a race against time to save the station … and their lives.

16 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Undara

  1. It’s always great to read a book about somewhere amazing that you have visited.
    The Undara Lava Tubes is one such place, vastly different and a real treasure for the environment.
    Annie Seaton has woven a complex storyline on an Australian station which has been in the family for generations and a group of research scientists keen to discover new species of insects in the dark and sometimes treacherous tunnel system.
    In both camps the characters are suffering grief and trying to come to terms with trauma in their lives. They help each other through the emotional roller coaster and uncover disturbing truths which explain unusual happenings on the station.
    It’s a win win conclusion to the story with everyone getting on with their lives.

  2. Undara by Annie SEATON was a book I enjoyed reading. The story is about Emlyn Rees who is part of a research team searching for new insect species in a part of the Undara lava tubes not open to the public. Travis Carlyle is the owner of the land, and in the beginning is resistant to the researchers. Emlyn and Travis are both suffering from broken marriages, and the story evolves around their growing friendship, a 100 year mystery, and a few twists along the way.

    I found the book engrossing, and could not put it down until finished. Thanks to Beauty and Lace, and Mira Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review.

  3. Loved this book and the characters. Except one who you will meet while you devour this book as I did.
    Annie Seaton did not disappoint as usual. with Undara.
    Set in the caves and lava tubes in the outback I learnt so much about what can be and is found by these scientists looking in these sometimes dangerous caves.
    The personal lives of the main characters interwoven with the history and descriptions of the landscapes made for a wonderful story.
    Thankyou Beautyandlace Annie Seaton and Harper Collins for this opportunity to read and review Undara

  4. Undara by Annie Seaton is set in tropical North Queensland around the Undara lava tubes. Emlyn Rees is a entomologist researching possible new insects in the depths of the caves. After a tough year she’s looking forward to burying herself in work and forgetting about her grief and problems. Travis Carlyle owns Hidden Valley station that the scientists are working on, he just wants his station to be left in peace.
    After a prickly start Emlyn and Travis form a friendship, both are going through rough patches in there marriages, they help each other start to heal.
    Just as the dig is starting to have some success and Emlyn helps Travis come up with a plan to help keep the station afloat, strange things start to happen around the station and dig site, someone doesn’t want Travis to have success.
    Undera was a great read, right from the start there was intrigue as to what had happened to Emlyn , leaving you hungry for the tid bits of information Seaton gave away along the way, the romance perspective of the book was very subtle and wasn’t the focus of the story.
    The ‘bad guy’ had me guessing, I was sure I knew who it was but didn’t know if it seemed to obvious!
    Another great book by Annie Seaton! Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the chance to read and review Undara.

  5. Undara was a slow burn for me. I didn’t instantly connect with Dr Rees, but she captured me enough to keep reading to find out what her story was. By the end of the book though I’d connected strongly with so many of the characters and their stories.
    I could imagine being back at Undara, and in the tunnels- what a perfect location to get away from everything and learn about the interesting history of such a different place in Australia.
    I loved that this wasn’t a conventional love story. And it was an unexpected way to take it, but all in a good way.
    I’m very keen to read more from Annie Seaton, especially those books set in really great Australian locations. I can clearly see similarities between Di Morrissey and Judy Nunn, two of my personal favourites.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace, Annie Seaton and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review Undara.

  6. The Undara lava tubes are a fascinating geological marvel with its own underground ecosystems. Set in Queensland’s north on the Carlyle family’s farm, a team from the University are set to explore the caves in hopes of discovering new species of insects.

    Entomologist Emlyn isn’t overly welcomed on arrival to the farm. But it doesn’t take long before her guard drops, and she opens to Travis Carlyle (the landowner) and they support each other through an array of family qualms.

    The story weaves between a mystery surrounding the lava tubes from the 1800s and a modern day one. It is slow to start but as the pace intensifies the mystery deepens. I found it interesting being based on a real place, which I googled afterwards. It would be a fascinating place to explore and can see why Seaton would be inspired to base a novel on the setting.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace Book Club and HarperCollins Publishers for the reading and reviewing opportunity. This isn’t the first nor the last of Annie Seaton’s books that I have thoroughly enjoyed happy to recommend to anyone who enjoys Australian rural fiction.

  7. Undara by Annie Seaton will not disappoint.

    It is a wonderful read of Romance, Friendship, Adventure, Mystery
    and more.

    This is the story of Emlyn Rees who is recovering from a terrible tragedy which has affected her marriage to David and she needs to get away.

    As an entomologist she takes on some work with a team of scientists
    who are about to research insects in the Lava tubes at Undara in North Queensland.

    The research is based on a cattle station owned by Travis Carlyle who doesn’t really want them on his property but is only allowing it because of his financial situation.

    Initially he is not very welcoming and has issues of his own having separated from his wife, but as time goes on Emlyn and Travis form a strong friendship which made me think I knew where this story was heading but I was wrong.

    The story also has two time frames – one beginning in 2018 and another in 1879 which gives the story another dimension as things start to go wrong around the property.

    This is an intriguing read with a surprising end.

    Many thanks to Beauty and Lace and Mira/Harlequin for the opportunity to read this amazing novel.

  8. I first discovered Annie Seaton via reading and reviewing Whitsunday Dawn for Beauty and Lace last year so when Undara became available I jumped at the chance to read it. I love how in Annie’s books the Australian landscape becomes such an important element of the story and the Undara caves are the focus of her new book.

    Annie is able to transport you to places without leaving your home, she always visits and researches where her stories are going to be based and it shows in the descriptive way she writes.

    Uncovering Undara’s secrets will change them forever…..

    When I started Undara the prologue captured me immediately. It introduced us to Emlyn Rees and it left me wanting to know more, what had happened and why had she fought with her husband.

    The story then shifts to New Years Eve 2018 at Hidden Valley Station where Emlyn, an entomologist is about to undertake a research project into the Undara Lave tube caves found on the property. The research team are on the hunt for new species of insects in the unexplored caves.

    Travis Carlyle owns the historical property that has been in his family for generations and begrudgingly gives the university research team access to the lava caves for monetary reasons only – in reality he resents them being there. Travis is a broken man himself, separated from his wife with access to his kids only on school holidays he runs the vast property with his good for nothing brother Gavin and Bluey an old station hand. He is a proud man who struggles to ask for help but as the researchers have some amazing finds, him and Emlyn discuss opportunities that may help the struggling farm.

    There are many reasons to pick this book up and to just keep reading until you finish. Things keep going wrong at the dig site, strange things keep occurring and we want to find out why someone is trying to sabotage the research project, why is Emlyn trying to move on and leave her old life and husband behind and will Travis be able to save the farm.

    I always enjoy Annie’s books, she writes so beautifully and is a fine storyteller, I highly recommend Undara. Thank you to Harlequin Australia and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review Undara.

  9. I was so happy to get picked to read and review Annie Seaton’s new book Undara.

    As usual Annie did not disappoint I absolutely loved the book the moment I picked it up.

    I love reading about all the beautiful places around Australia and love that Annie visitis and researches the places she’s writing about.

    I enjoyed the way the story unfolded and loved the two timelines. Mixture of romance, mystery and more. You won’t be disappointed.

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