Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Picnic At Hanging Rock

Classic Australian novel by Joan Lindsay

It was wonderful to finally read this book and realise it had all the delightful mystery of the movie I so loved. I grew up with the movie, and read the movie script multiple times. Of course, if you know me, it goes without saying how much I adored the costumes, and that I plan to eventually get around to making them!

This is a story that drove the Australian public crazy for years wondering is it true? Is it at least based on true events? I know the mystery rather haunted me as a child. I remember driving by near where Hanging Rock was and being fascinated. I have yet to go there, but plan to do so one day. It will probably be a long time coming as I cannot drive.

I enjoyed all the little things in the book that the movie had to leave out for time and pacing, such as little insights into all the characters and their secret lives, and the 'pattern' that includes the disappearances, and other dark events that follow. I love the evocative air of mystery, and the sensation of a long hot Australian summer. Bodies cut off from the landscape, 'protected' from the landscape by layers of clothing, unable to truly interact with it. The threatening landscape was a popular theme in older Gothic novels, when mankind still feared the large open spaces that could swallow you up, never to be seen again.

Later reading the secret 18th final chapter, and learning that the author dreamed the events, (I am often inspired in my writing by my dreams) I came to love this book even more, which I would not have thought possible.

A childhood classic, loved even more as an adult.

1 comment:

  1. Such a haunting story! I've always loved it, along with the movie.

    I have been to Martindale Hall in Mintaro, where they shot the school scenes. It's a beautiful building. :)