Summer reading is sorted with Annie Seaton's Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is out now. Picture: HarperCollins

Osprey Reef is out now. Picture: HarperCollins

As summer approaches, many of us a thinking about a dip in the ocean.

The spray of the water, the smell of the salt in the air - you'll experience all that and more in the pages of Annie Seaton's new novel, Osprey Reef.

The Queensland author has just released the family mystery, set in the Great Barrier Reef, and Australian Community Media has seven copies to give away to celebrate.

Osprey Reef follows two women, decades apart.

In 2019, Bethany Kristensen is battling the challenges of skippering the family charter business in the cut-throat local boating market.

Back in 1934, Stella Booth flees a future of domestic drudgery in the Outback to live an independent life in Mackay - until fate has other ideas.

The pair are linked by a mystery and will need to dig deeper than ever before to forge their place among the turbulent seas of the reef.

"A few years back I edited a memoir for an interesting young lady who was working in the marine industry," Seaton said.

"Reading her story, and the difficulties she encountered as a young female shipping captain stayed with me.

"Coincidentally, one of her first positions as a deckhand on a boat I was very familiar with - the Elizabeth E11 fishing charter boat, owned by our great nephew, based in Mackay Marina.

"When I discovered the interesting history of the development of the sea wall and marina in Mackay, a story began to develop."

Seaton said she was fascinated by the "alternative history of the discovery of the east coats of Australia", which she learned while completing research for the book.

"[It was suggested] that the great 15th-century treasure fleets of the Ming dynasty, captained by Admiral Zheng He, landed in Australia," she said.

"This possibility became a part of my fictional plot. I was also surprised to read the annual event of coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef was only first observed in 1984."

The author said she loved writing about her home state and has always been fascinated by Queensland geography.

She said the Whitsundays was a particular favourite, with its "sapphire-blue" Coral Sea and "verdant green" vegetation - both featured prominently in her first book in the region, Whitsunday Dawn.

"The history of the region is also very interesting and there is a lot of scope for future stories set there," Seaton said.

A lover of Australian and medieval English historical fiction, Seaton said she loved reading "witty contemporary women's fiction", from authors like Sharon Penman, Kristan Higgins, Fiona McArthur and more.


Australian Community Media has seven copies of Osprey Reef to give away thanks to our friends at HarperCollins.

For your chance to win, simply fill out the form below and tell us in 25 words or fewer what you're looking forward to reading this summer.

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This story Summer reading is sorted with Annie Seaton's Osprey Reef first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.