The Woman In Black Review

The Woman In Black
by Susan Hill

Summary: A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford–a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway–to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images–a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.

Review: I gave this a 4 out of 5.
It was a short read, but extremely detailed from Arthur’s point of view. I kept seeing previews for the movie on television. It looked pretty interesting and I planned on seeing it, until I found out it was a book. To keep true to my pledge to read a book before I see its movie, I decided to pick this up at the bookstore.
It didn’t disappoint. While it started off relatively slow, I enjoyed Arthur and his thoughts and the way he viewed the world and how sensible he was. I believe this story is truly the way a sensible person would go about organizing his thoughts and recalling a past story. I forgave this book for being a bit slow. I also think perhaps it was a tad predictable, but I haven’t read any ghost story that wasn’t predictable to some degree, and it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the story.  

“Whatever was about, whoever I had seen, and heard rocking, and who had passed me by just now, whoever had opened the locked door was not ‘real.’ No. But what was ‘real’? At that moment I began to doubt my own reality.”
I really like the way this story is written.  I have to admit, I think the plays are probably better and I think the movie will be better. Perhaps I’m just the kind of person who wants to “experience” the creepiness of a ghost story by actually seeing and hearing strange things. I’m glad I read this and I will definitely read some of Hill’s other stories. I will also see the movie. 
 This book also completes category 10 of the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012:

  hosted by: bookedout


  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction
  3. Romantic Fiction
  4. Historical Fiction
  5. Young Adult
  6. Fantasy
  7. Science Fiction
  8. Non Fiction
  9. Horror
  10. Thriller /Suspense
  11. Classic
  12. Your favorite genre

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