Book Review: The Undaunted by Gerald N. Lund

At 800 pages, it may seem a little daunting to read this book, but it is well worth the effort. It is an amazing story of real people and real events that have been woven into a fun to read narrative. The author's fictional characters blend well with those who lived to tell the tale of the Hole in the Rock trek.

David is the main character. He and his father are miners who come to Utah from England as converts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After some years, he finds himself in Cedar City, Utah as a mail rider. At this time, many Church members in the area are called to leave their homes and journey to the Four Corners area to found a new settlement that is supposed to help instigate peace in the area. The people that he joins in this little known venture are who we now refer to as the Hole in the Rock pioneers. This is their story.

Even though Gerald Lund takes a long time to get to the "story," I found myself drawn into the book immediately. David and his family are very likable characters and I just couldn't believe what I was reading when he writes about the plight of children who worked from such a young age down in the coal mines. He could have written a whole book on this alone. Once he gets his characters to Utah, I thought the "story" would begin, but then more characters are introduced, and along with them a little romance is thrown in. I enjoyed the romance, it made the story more interesting, and I didn't think that it was too over done.

One thing that I appreciated while reading this book was how the author sited all of his sources. I was able to read little snippets of journal entries and could see that for the most part he followed the actual history of these pioneers pretty closely. These people had great courage and faith. They experienced things that I can only imagine. I feel like I have become a better person just by reading this book.

My Rating

Overall: 4.5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is very inspirational. Maybe just a bit predictable, but this doesn't detract from the story.

Objectionable Content: None


Kathy January 19, 2010 at 7:29 AM  

I enjoyed your review Bobbi, and agreed with your rating of the book. We took a road trip to Idaho while I was reading the book, and I found myself looking out over the vast areas of sagebrush with the wind so blustery and cold, and tried to imagine the weather those pioneers endured. They were driven by their testimonies. That's the only explanation I can come up with. I will remember their story and already it has helped me do some difficult things that I have been asked to do.

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