Picnic at Hanging Rock

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Author: Joan Lindsay

Age Range: Mid Teens+

Period: Early 20th C

Genres:  ClassicHistoricalSpooky


In 1900 Australia, a part of teenage girls from a College for Young Ladies goes on a trip to Hanging Rock. Three of them disappear, as does one of the mistresses. One is later found unconscious and remembers nothing. The others are never found. The school suffers a decline and the headmistress turns to drink and behaves very mysteriously.


A disturbing book, presumably written to leave you unsatisfied. The plot itself is deliberately vague, leaving many loose ends and non-sequiturs, most notably any solution to the mystery. There is an alarming number of deaths, mostly unexplained, and a slightly steamy feel to the book, with a few indelicate descriptions. The overall feeling while reading is that it's probably going to get out of hand soon, but it never quite does. No one character appears to espouse any particular virtue, except perhaps a precarious friendship between Michael and Abert and between Sara and Miranda.

Tuesday 1st January 2002