‘Miranda…!’ There was no answering voice. The awful silence closed in and Edith began, quite loudly now, to scream. If her terrified cries had been heard by anyone but a wallaby squatting in a clump of bracken a few feet away, the picnic at hanging Rock might yet have been just another picnic on a summer’s day. Nobody did hear them. The wallaby sprang up in alarm and bounded away, as Edith turned back, plunged blindly into the scrub and ran, stumbling and screaming, towards the plain.
On Valentine’s day, 1900 group of young women from an exclusive boarding school are treated to a picnic in the bush. It is a lovely day, and the girls are excited at the chance for a break from their daily routine. But, when four girls go for a walk for a closer look at Hanging Rock, tragedy strikes. Three of the four fail to return and Edith, the one who does, has no recollection of what befell her friends. At the same time one of the teachers accompanying the girls also disappears. In the days and weeks following the mystery surrounding their disappearance grows, nd the subsequent effect ripple throughout the community.
Picnic at Hanging Rock is a classic piece of Australian fiction, first published in 1967, and presenting a mystery which is so well known that many believe it to have some element of truth. Now the story has been rereleased as part of the Popular Penguins series, allowing readers to rediscover it, or for a new generation of readers to sample it for the first time.
A wonderful story which has withstood the test of time.
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Popular Penguins), by Joan Lindsay
This edition Penguin, 2009
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