Picnic at Hanging Rock -Joan Lindsay

classics, mystery

 

To the next person who reads this book:

Picnic at Hanging Rock, set in Bendigo, Victoria, is a mysterious, haunting story that has many moments that are chilling.

Four girls from a prestigious English boarding school in the Australian bush in the 1900’s go missing from a school picnic at Hanging Rock.

Hanging Rock is vividly described – yet perhaps better is the detail Lindsay doesn’t provide. The uncertainty and mystery around the rock makes it seem the same in nature as some of the deepest, most unfathomable places in the ocean – unexplored.

We never gain any explanation as to what becomes of Miranda, with ‘corn starch’ hair, who is lovely as a white swan (the white swan becomes a symbol for her ghost, or memory) or Miranda Quade, bookish and factual. Irma Leopold, an heiress, is found, but everyone who has contact with the rock seem strangely to be unable to recall certain details or whole events that unfold on or around it.

This story depicts how the disappearance of the girls at Hanging Rock devastates the many lives that were touched by this single event. Lindsay trails the characters linked to that day, and we see, that the disaster of the rock reaches much further than the geographical space the rock inhabits itself. The disappearance ripples forth with invisible ways of horror into the community.

The charming depictions of the Australian bush, the rock, the boarding house and the story’s characters  make for a compelling read, and creates images that return to the readers mind long after the story is finished.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★