This review does not contain spoilers.
In 1900, a class of young women from an exclusive private school go on an excursion to the isolated Hanging Rock, deep in the Australian bush. The excursion ends in tragedy when three girls and a teacher mysteriously vanish after climbing the rock. Only one girl returns, with no memory of what has become of the others …
Some people talk about this book as though it’s a true story. Some people—including the author, Joan Lindsay—say it’s complete fiction. As for me … well, every time I picked up this book, I fell asleep. I don’t know if that says more about me or the book.
There were some interesting, almost hypnotic scenes. The wry humour in some instances even made me laugh out loud. But the rest of the time, scenes and storylines seemed to go nowhere. I just … I wanted more. I wanted a big reveal or an ending that left me furious at the lack of a big explanation. Instead, it just trailed off into lacklustre ambiguity. I ended up completely dissatisfied and wishing I’d put the book down a lot earlier.
Writing this review was a struggle. I felt like I had to say more, had to justify my reaction (or lack thereof). I know others love Picnic at Hanging Rock and it’s an Australian classic but sometimes things just don’t click. This book was a miss for me.