My Friday Post: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

My book this week is Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, one of the books I’m reading for this year’s 20 Books of Summer event. This book has been on my wishlist for years ever since I read about it on someone’s blog – sorry, I can’t remember which blog.

On St Valentine’s Day in 1900, a party of nineteen girls accompanied by two schoolmistresses sets off from the elite Appleyard College for Young Ladies, for a day’s outing at the spectacular volcanic mass called Hanging Rock. Some were never to return. The picnic, which begins innocently and happily ends in explicable terror …

It begins:

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.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

The police, said Bumpher, were doing their utmost to clear up the mystery and in his opinion and that of Detective Lugg, it was essential that Edith as a key witness should be confronted with the actual scene as a spur to memory.

There’s an intriguing note at the beginning of the book:

Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the readers must decide for themselves. As the fateful picnic took place in the year nineteen hundred, and all the characters who appear in this book are long since dead, it hardly seems important.

8 thoughts on “My Friday Post: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay”

  1. Ooooh I’ve heard about this book as well and I’ve been desperate to read it, thanks for the reminder! I love books (and movies) that leave it up to you to figure out what is and isn’t real, what really could’ve happened and what probably didn’t. I hope you enjoy it! I hope you have a lovely start to the weekend and do drop by my Friday post if you have the time! – Juli @ A Universe in Words


  2. Oh, this one’s really eerie, Margaret. It’s not a long story, either, so getting drawn into it isn’t hard. I’ll be interested in what you think of it, and whether you find it unsettling.


  3. This has been on my TBR for years so I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of it. I loved the film all those years ago when it first came out, when I’d have been about the same age as the girls…


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