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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

The Secret of Hanging Rock (Author: Joan Lindsay)

The Secret of Hanging Rock (Book Cover)

Genre: Period Fiction/Fact/Mystery

The Secret Of Hanging Rock - Sequel to Picnic At Hanging Rock By Joan Lindsay

I wrote A review of Picnic At Hanging Rock on here last week & noted that I'd discovered this sequel - the missing chapter eighteen that the publishers removed from the final publication, as they wanted the mystery from the novel to remain with the reader. However, the author, did give permission for the last chapter to be published after her death.

There is no way to allude to what occurs in this chapter without actually giving it away but I can tell you the order of the book & give you a flavour of the way in which the ending is portrayed. It starts with an introduction giving a potted version of the back story (the main narrative) & how the book has become something of a mysterious legend, especially to Australians.

The next part is actually chapter eighteen. You then get a commentary on the chapter which to me, was frankly confusing referring to the idea that 'Time One' is the physical world, 'Time 2' is between worlds & 'Time 3' is when you have crossed over in death. The last part is a more simpler termed explanation of the chapter which confirmed that I had understood what had taken place.

The conclusion was not at all what I had expected &, in turn, for me, puts an entirely different slant on the original novel suggesting that the whole thing never happened. But, as the author says at the beginning of her novel 'whether Picnic At Hanging Rock is fact or fiction, my readers must decide for themselves. As the fateful Picnic took place in the year nineteen hundred, & all the characters are long since dead it hardly seems important'.

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