Publication of Novel


Picnic at Mount Disappointment

A Novel by Melissa Bruce

Published by Ginninderra Press 2017         ISBN 978-1-76041-303-3

Cover Photograph by Brooke Shaden

Winner of the Woollahra Digital Literary Award for Fiction 2017        

“A verse novel that charmed in a matter ofstanzas.  Surprising character development, witty and originalobservations, honest representation of a prickly teen trying to find her placebetween worlds.  A very enjoyable read.”  Judges Comments – Woollahra Digital Literary Award

Highly Commended – Society of Women Writers NSW – Fiction Awards 2018  “…notable not only for its sure scansion, but also for the way it confronts the difficulties of life while still maintaining hope. Blended families, imperfect parents, the desires and foibles of adolescence, and that impossible task of knowing exactly what one is feeling – let alone communicating that! – all give the book a rich and believable texture.  It is particularly noteworthy for the characters… who are distinctly drawn.”  Judges Comments

‘It is rare to find a story that takes us into that liminal territory of adolescence with such force and such heart. Desire, disappointment, betrayal and forgiveness written in libretto, an ode to the tumult of coming of age.’     Gabrielle Carey, co-author, Puberty Blues

“Melissa Bruce has created an astonishing poem that sustains its voice from the first lines to the very last. Like her fictional heroine Sybylla Melville, the narrator Lucy is wilful, passionate, intelligent and totally charming. She’s going to compel her readers for years to come.”          Debra Adelaide

The writing was gorgeous: a beautiful, poetic, sad, insightful, sharp and funny novel. Themes of divorce and infidelity, family life, anger, first love, disappointment and growing up – all so strong. I also adored the depiction of rural 70’s-80’s Victoria in its beauty and banality.”                   Pip Harry

“A beautiful story, told in a unique voice.”      Alex Miller

Synopsis:      Picnic at Mount Disappointment is an amusing and moving and story about Lucy, a teenage girl, who is moved from the city to the country, from an inner-city girls’ school to a co-ed country school that resides between the dark pine forest and the Hell’s Angels’ base. ‘I don’t know where in hell exactly.’ The family’s farm is situated on the Great Dividing Range, at the foot of Mount Disappointment. ‘Wandong’ hosts the second largest truck ‘n’ country music festival in the southern hemisphere – and nothing else. Lucy tries to change herself (for better and worse) and creates a grand plan that she believes will enable her to matter. Life isn’t always a picnic…

Also described as ‘Puberty Blues goes Bush!’. The original style of Picnic at Mount Disappointment, will appeal to the text-message-twitter generation with its economical format: immediate, accessible, rhythmic, visual, dramatic and fast.

Set in the retro-vintage past of the early 1980’s, ‘Picnic at Mount Disappointment explores a number of contemporary themes such as the ‘Culture of Celebrity’ – where so many people feel driven to become famous – sometimes inappropriately or at great cost. Other themes include assimilation and belonging and the sometimes overwhelming experience of disillusionment and disappointment that often accompanies the memorable rite of passage identified as ‘coming of age.’

Link to Facebook Author Page          Film of Book Launch by S. Shostak


Available as a Paperback and an eBook. Ordered from bookstores and online.

Amazon      Ginninderra Press     Gleebooks  


6 April 2017   •   Posted by: Melissa Bruce