Sunday, November 12, 2017


by Joan Lindsay
Foreword by Maile Meloy

Mysterious and subtly erotic, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (Penguin Classics; On-sale: October 3, 2017; $16.00; ISBN: 9780143132059) was first published 50 years ago and inspired the iconic 1975 film of the same name by Peter Weir—as well as a six-episode TV series starring Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer, scheduled to be released by Amazon next year. Widely considered one of the most important Australian novels of all time, it stands with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides as a masterpiece of intrigue.

On a cloudless summer day in the year 1900, everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the secluded volcanic outcropping. Farther, higher, until at last they disappeared…. They never returned.

My thoughts....

It’s not hard to see why PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is a classic. The central mystery, what happened to the girls and the math teacher on the rock, is still a puzzle to this day. 

Even more interesting is the aftermath of their disappearance. The effect on those left behind, and the sole survivor, is an encapsulated study of human nature; and it's not always pretty or noble.

Disquieted best describes how I felt during and after reading PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK.

However, I would caution against reading the foreword in its entirety. When she recommends stopping, please do. A lot of my reading pleasure evaporated after reading the ending the author alludes to in several scenes. These incidents stand alone fine without the original ending, thank goodness.

3 stars

Penguin is offering a print copy giveaway to one lucky commenter who answers this question.
What are your thoughts on a bit of ambiguity sometimes?  Does knowing the original intent of the author sometimes ruin it for you?
Good Luck!

*All print giveaways are US only unless stated otherwise. Not responsible for 3rd party giveaways*

No comments:

Post a Comment