Book Review: Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay


Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

Vintage Classics (Paperback), 2013, First Published In 1967

196 Pages 





It was a cloudless summer day in the year nineteen hundred.

Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three of the girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared.

They never returned.

Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the reader must decide for themselves.


Everyone agreed that the day was just right for the picnic to Hanging Rock – a shimmering summer morning warm and still, with cicadas shrilling all through breakfast from the loquat trees outside the dining-room windows and bees murmuring above the pansies bordering the drive.


I enjoyed Picnic At Hanging Rock.

Lindsay’s novel is well-written, engaging and packed with tension and suspense. Picnic At Hanging Rock ticks all the boxes for a great mystery novel. What really happened to the missing girls and the governess? Are they dead or have they run away to start a new life somewhere? Why can’t Edith or Irma remember what happened? Lindsay writes in such a way, I thought I was reading a true story so I felt disappointed when I found out it was fiction. I liked reading about the impact of the disappearances on the school and the community. The ending of Picnic At Hanging Rock gets a thumbs down from me. We never learn what happened to the girls or the governess or why Irma came back. I don’t mind finishing a novel with a few unanswered questions. I just felt Picnic At Hanging Rock left too many questions. A hint at what happened so the reader could draw their own conclusions would have been better.

Picnic At Hanging Rock is a good mystery but the cliff-hanger ending doesn’t work for me. 




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s