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The Undaunted : The Miracle of the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,729 Ratings  ·  1,343 Reviews
The journey was impossible. But they had no other choice. At the call of their prophet, they left well-established farms and businesses to strike out yet again into the untamed wilderness. A small band of men, women, and children formed the 1879 pioneer company. Their mission: stand as a buffer between lawlessness and civilization. Their road: only what they created themse ...more
Paperback, 804 pages
Published May 9th 2011 by Deseret Book Company (first published January 1st 2009)
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Leigh Dethman
Jul 09, 2009 Leigh Dethman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Gerald Lund's way with words. He made the Restoration come to life for me with The Work and the Glory series, and now he's done it again with The Undaunted: The Miracle of the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers. Only this time, he made my own family history come alive. My ancestor was one of the four scouts on the Hole in the Rock journey. I can't imagine what these amazing pioneers went through. They thought they'd only be walking for six weeks, and ended up trudging along for six mont ...more
Nov 10, 2009 Larene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
800+ pages. I was undaunted myself trekking through this book.
The first 500 pages dealt primarily with his fictional characters. I liked the first 200+ pages (which took place in England), but got rather tired of them.
The characters didn't even start traveling to the Four Corners area until 500 pgs into the book. This untold pioneer story was fascinating --in fact I'd give the historical part 4 stars. I think Lund is more of a historian than a novelist.

One thing that was helpful with understand
Sep 21, 2009 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part of this book was a solid 5, but the rest vacillated between 2 to 4 stars, so I'm going with an even 3 ... which was really disappointing because the beginning was soooooo good!

Gerald Lund is one of my favorite historical authors. He takes a fictional character/family and places them in real events that feel like they really could have been there. He also has great footnotes at the end of each chapter giving you more detail about what was fact and what was fiction in the chapter. Y
To be fair, I haven't finished this book (although I did peek at the ending to make sure it ended the way I thought it would).
Honestly, I just couldn't do it. I like Gerald Lund as a historian, but not as a storyteller. The fictional characters were great at the beginning, but they got stale about halfway through the 800 pages and I became totally uninterested. And the playful banter-like dialogue was killing me!!! I remember that dialogue getting old in "Work and Glory" too. Anyway, I wish he
Aug 28, 2009 Cydnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds-fiction
Thank you Goodreads and Deseret Book!! I was so excited when I found out I had won this book. I have enjoyed all of the novels that I have read by Gerald Lund. I have a hard time just reading straight history, but through his fictitional families that same history comes to life. I also appreciate all of the notes at the end of each chapter telling me what is actual truth. I have heard bits of this story over the years, but had never studied it in depth.

I was overcome at times as I read their
Oct 25, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't give 5 stars ONLY because Lund isn't the most artistic of writers. I was never able to get through more than 20 pages of the Work and the Glory, and this is more of the same Lund -- just with the most incredible story that every member of the church should read. I love the footnotes of actual journal entries, etc. The history with the Indians is fascinating and the sacrifices these pioneers made solely out of a desire to obey their leaders and except a calling is astounding. They weren't ...more
Sep 07, 2009 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off: I'm not a big fan of Gerald Lund's fiction. I know there are lots out there who absolutely loved The Work and The Glory. I just couldn't get into them. I started the first one three times before I finally decided I wasn't going to waste any more effort on the series. (My husband felt the same.) So given that this 800 page behemoth of a book was going to garner a huge investment of my time I started it with some reservations.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. I actually enjoyed it q
Feb 10, 2011 Shelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've never read any of Gerald Lund's other books, so I wasn't familiar with his writing style and his approach to historical fiction. I am generally turned off by books of this length and only read this one because one of my husband's ancestors was involved with the Hole in the Rock mission and was featured in this book. Thus, all of my husband's family has read the book and have a vested interest in it.

To me, the book was way too long and did not hold my attention. I nearly quit reading several
Jun 27, 2010 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Kingdom and the Crown taught me and strengthened my testimony. The Fire of the Covenant made me cry. I read and enjoyed The Work and the Glory -- twice. So when I saw that Lund had written some new historical fiction, I knew I'd be reading it soon.

And I enjoyed it. This is a little-told story about a group of pioneers I didn't know anything about, settling in a tiny community (Bluff, Utah) that's still just as tiny today. Some of the stories from their trek had me shaking my head in amazemen
Dec 04, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Gerald Lund! I was hooked by him in Work and the Glory, Fire and the Covenant and the Kingdom & the Crown series. This was another great historical novel. He makes you believe in his characters so much. Robert's great, great, grandparents were on the main expedition through Hole in the Rock - the Lymans. So this book as been a great experience for all of his family. His Aunt has a rod iron bed from them that had to be cut off and shortened because it was too large to be brought throug ...more
Sep 01, 2009 Greta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband and I have traversed the front section of this pioneer trail down through the hole in the rock which now ends at Lake Powell. It is dumbfounding to me how this group of pioneers created a "road" down through this rugged country and to think that the Hole part of the trail wasn't even the worst. We have also traveled through much of the country surrounding Blanding and Bluff and Comb Ridge is as imposing as is described in this book. Truly, this group of pioneers were undaunted in thei ...more
Spring Clark
This book goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on! It could have been about 400 pages shorter and been a way better book. I liked the characters, but the story was way too much whether in the mines or on the trek across the Southern Utah desert. And then for all the long story the ending was rather abrupt and left us wondering how life was for the people once they settled in Bluff. I just wasn't that impressed. In fact, I skipped around for most of the last half of the book just to be ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An epic novel from the master of LDS-related historical fiction, this book tells the story of the “Hole-in-the-Rock” pioneers that were called to travel eastward from the settlements in Cedar City and St. George (Utah) to establish settlements in the Four Corners area as a buffer against hostile Native Americans and to make the permanent residents families instead of the questionable men who were settling the southeastern part of Utah and southwestern Colorado (bank robbers and horse thieves wer ...more
Aug 02, 2009 Rosalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished a marathon reading session and loved this book. (I got it in the mail on Friday and now it's only Sunday afternoon.) Anyone who has ever lived in San Juan County or had the opportunity to travel even a part of the Hole-in-the-Rock trail should read this.
At 800 pages, I really wanted to like, rather, needed to like this book to feel good about committing the time to it. There were about 500 pages worth I would like to have back, and I can definitely understand why, when compared to the Work and the Glory series and Fire of the Covenant, The Undaunted rates comparatively low.

The good - customary interesting pieces of history, in this case 19th century British and Four Corners area, made more readable in Lund fashion by having a fictional story w
A 800-page fat book that has been languishing on my shelf since it came out in 2009. In fact, it was given to me as a gift, I gave it to my daughter, and then bought it for myself again. I finally decided it would be a good book to read in the month of July to celebrate pioneers, and it was great. Really engrossing. I love it more for the history than for the writing. And I love the footnotes as much as the story to see exactly what is true and what is fictionalized--and really, most of it is tr ...more
"The Undaunted" is the story of the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers. I had not heard of these pioneers until reading this book. They were a group of Mormons living in Southern Utah area in the late 1800's and they were told by the First Presidency of the church that they needed to move to the southeast corner of Utah around the Four Corners to settle a new area. The journey was treacherous and most people didn't think it was going to be possible. As Gerald Lund as done in other novels he tells a histo ...more
Janet Wilcox
Feb 08, 2010 Janet Wilcox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm over half way through and have really enjoyed this book. I'm currently working on a blog site with bios of Hole in the Rock pioneers, so I'm finding it's a nice companion task for comparisons. (Emily, Will, and Ruth--you need to read this, as you're related to Platte DeAlton Lyman, the key journal informant in this journey!)

Finished reading The Undaunted mid-January. Also re-read David Millers book, which is the back-bone of the actual trip's data used by Lund. I liked this book. Since I hav
Nov 06, 2012 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I am not a fan of hearing or reading most pioneer stories. I already know what they went through and what they accomplished, and I don't need to hear a million different ways pioneers and their babies died. This book was our book club read and I told myself since I was already reading Les Miserables and I wasn't really interested anyway, I would skip it. Of course the week before I decided I didn't want to miss the meeting so I picked it up hoping I would trudge my way through it. This ...more
May 26, 2013 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. I "had" to stay up late last night to finish it. The Undaunted is the story of the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers and was a story I had never heard before. It isn't as dramatic as the Martin and Willie Handcart story but has it's share of impossibilities overcome. I fell in love with David on the first page (of course he's 6 at the time and just plain adorable).

Just like with The Work and the Glory, David is a fictional character who interacts with the real characters fr
Jan 02, 2010 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the preface to this novel, Lund quotes David McCullough "The truth of history is the objective always. But the truth isn't just the facts. You can have all the facts imaginable and miss the truth, just as you can have facts missing or some wrong, and reach the larger truth."

I hadn't heard of these 'Hole-in-the-rock' pioneers before reading this book - and found the novel very interesting - particularly the notes included at the end of each chapter, explaining the history. I also quite enjoyed
I thought it was an overall good book to read. I wish the author had spent less time on the development of the main character and more time on the romance...although I can see why he chose to show an in depth look at where the main character came from and why he was the way that he was. I had a hard time at the end with all the descriptions of the landscape and rock by rock details, but overall a good read. It was an incredible story of the 'hole-in-the-rock pioneers'. I had not heard about them ...more
I enjoyed the story and it was very interesting. It was interesting and informative to learn about the trials and tribulations that these early pioneers went through. The book made me appreciate the sacrifice that these people made and that many others made during that period of time. Learning about the working conditions in the mines in England was educational because I have many ancestors that were miners in England. Every part of the book was very well documented so the writing was very credi ...more
I was prepared to fully love this book, but it just didn't happen for me. Unlike "The Fire of the Covenant" and many of Lund's "Work and the Glory" volumes, the true story was just not compelling enough to engage me emotionally. As always, Lund uses excellent research (and I so appreciate his footnotes at the end of each chapter; I read every word, and wish all historical novelists would provide me the same opportunity), though the sources available for the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers are clearly ...more
Oct 05, 2013 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
A very interesting read about a pioneer trek I didn't know about. I liked the footnotes the author included about the real life pioneers and situations. This is a fictionalized version of the story. Yes, there is some cheesy writing especially in some of the dialogue. Lund did a good job of explaining the trials of life during this time in history. Imagine having your family's name called in conference to go and settle a new town. The mere fact that they got to the final settlement is amazing. W ...more
Aug 29, 2009 Alanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great read from Gerald Lund. What an incredible journey! Having hiked up the Hole-in-the-Rock from a boat on Lake Powell, it is hard to imagine the pioneers taking covered wagons down this crevice and crossing the Colorado River in 1879. Once this was accomplished, they still had many more hardships and road building to face, over some of the roughest parts of this country, to reach their destination at the Four Corners area. The adventure, romance and sacrifices of these "undaunted" pio ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds-fiction
The research in this book was incredible. I read the author introduction and notes throughout, which I found very interesting and helpful (wished they would have been at the back though so as not to pull the reader out of the story so much). I did feel the book didn't need to be 750+ pages. It starts when the main character is 6 years old. Could have been broken down into a series or tightened a little. It's definitely an epic story and the years of careful hands on research shows!

Those who enjo
From this book, I learned that Lund, does indeed have more words inside of him :) It was a good story, enjoyable even. Lund is a great storyteller. He has three problems, however:
1. He is long winded. Tortuously so.
2. He is great at foreshaddowing, but most of the time, he builds the foreshaddowing up so much that once you get to the part, you end up feeling, "that's it?"
3. His constant use of 2000 phrases in a book that was supposed to take place in the 1880s. Phrases like "oh, please!" and "wh
Heather Murphy
Mar 28, 2014 Heather Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Heather by: My Mother
Although I gave this book a high rating, it was not as entertaining as books written for that purpose. Therefore, as a sucker for quick novels, it took me several months to read this mammoth book as I read other books when I got bored with this one. The climatic last couple of hundred pages, though, keep me entirely intrigued and I read it all at once within just a couple of days (it helps that I haven't been feeling well with this pregnancy and therefore have occasion to lay down and read, my a ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved learning about the pioneers, their courage, and the miracles that accompanied their faithful journey.
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  • The Silence of God
  • When We Meet Again (Children of the Promise, #4)
  • Where Angels Fall (The Great and Terrible, #2)
  • Prelude to Glory, Vol. 2: Times That Try Men's Souls
  • Be Still My Soul (A Banner is Unfurled, #2)
  • Alma
Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He served for thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, and he served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He is a prolific and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction and is best known for his historical novels, including The Work and the Glory series, Fi ...more
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“It is good to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future. It is good to look upon the virtues of those who have gone before, to gain strength for whatever lies ahead. It is good to reflect upon thw work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this worls, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has come a great harvest of which we are the beneficiaries. Their tremendous example can become a compelling motivation for us all.

Gordon B. Hinckley”
“fresh air down inta the mine. When the doors throughout the mine are shut, the air be trapped an’ forced inta the side chutes an’ minin’ chambers. That’s why ya be called trappers. Yur job is ta open the doors when a coal car approaches, then shut ’em agin.” “Oh.” David knew” 0 likes
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