Author: Susan Hill
Published: 10th October 1983
Length: 160 pages
Other info: This has been adapted for stage, TV,and will be a film starring Daniel Radcliffe in 2012.
Summary :Set in Victorian England, Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor in London, is summoned to Crythin Gifford to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, and to sort through her papers before returning to London. It is here that Kipps first sees the woman in black and begins to gain an impression of the mystery surrounding her. From the funeral he travels to Eel Marsh House and sees the woman again, plus he also hears the terrifying sounds of adult and child passengers sinking into the quicksand on a pony and trap.
I loved the way we get his old age to start with, then the rest of the story is a flash back. How he mangages to remember everything in detail, I don't know.
Arthur, we can easily connect with, and undersands his thoughts. He's a young man who didn't believe in the supernatural, and then suddenly he's placed in this world of ghosts. Everything is believable and easy to follow.
I'm not sure if this is normal, but my favourite character was Spider. The dog. When I was reading a certain scene, involving Arthur and Spider, for some reason, I only cared about Spider. I did care a little about Arthur, but all I could think about was the dog. Typical me.
The atmosphere is great. I can't believe this was only published in the 80s. The writing style and the references to 18/9--(forgotton exactly when it's set) really make it seem as though it was written a great deal earlier.
As well as the woman, there are secrets hidden throughout, involving more people than you'd typically think. Everything we read is relevant to the rest of the story, and everything keeps you going. Suspense is well built, and throughout you just want to finish the book to find out exactly how everything ends. The conclusion to the mystery is good, and the very end is unexpected.