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Joan Lindsay: Picnic at Hanging Rock

The year is 1900. The young ladies of Appleyard College, Australia set off on a picnic. Five young women disappear that day and only one is ever heard of again. The lives of those closest to these mysterious events are changed forever. The question remains… what happened?

Author: Joan LindsayImage result for picnic at hanging rock books cover

Title: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Press: Vintage (Penguin)

Date of Publication: 1967

Date of Purchase: February 2019

RRP: £8.99

Price of Purchase: Thank you library card

Reading Time:  5 days

Rating: 6

This took me a while to engage with, the start is slow and heavy with quite laboured descriptive passages which I wasn’t really in the mood for. However, once the girls disappear and things begin to happen my curiosity bested me and I was hooked. Without giving too much away this novel is driven almost entirely by isolated incidents and exchanges which help to build up the characters and shed light and shade on the mystery itself.

If you like your books to come neatly packaged with a good, strong, no room for confusion ending then this is absolutely not for you. I’m putting aside some time next week to read some criticism about Picnic because I cannot stand the not knowing.

Despite an incredibly unsatisfying ending I did enjoy this. Something of the sedate lives of the extremely wealthy and their staff in a period setting will always appeal to me.

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