Thursday 27 October 2011

Halloween Book Review- The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Woman in BlackTitle:  The Woman in Black
 Author:  Susan Hill
Series:   N/A
Published:   10th October 1983
Length: 160 pages
Warnings: None
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.
Review: Arthur Kipps is a lawyer who is sent to a client's funeral. The woman lived in Eel Marsh House on her own. At the funeral, he sees a woman, wasting away, dressed all in black. After one night in Eel Marsh House, Arthur realises that he's scared out of his mind by this strange woman, bumps in the night and visions of a trap being pulled under in quicksand..
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.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a good old fashioned ghost story that keeps you gripped throughout.


  1. wow.. this book sounds interesting.. and the cover its a little creepy :p

  2. I must add this to my to read shelf on GR! Looks creeptastic! Yes yes, who doesn't love a good ghost story?

  3. This sounds so interesting! Definitely on my list to read! :)

  4. OMG, I need to see the movie. Sorry, I actually did not read the review..yet. I was so distracted that you mentioned that Harry Potter (I know his real name is Daniel but he will always be Harry to me) is going to be in the movie. YES!

    I haven't read this book yet but it does sound interesting.

  5. flashbacks in detail...I can hardly remember my dreams from the night before. Sounds spooky!

  6. This sounds so intriguing. I can't believe I haven't come across it before. I chose this one in the giveaway though so maybe I will win a copy. :)

  7. Hmm it sounds really interesting. I am in a mood for something like this story so I'll add it to my to-read list...

  8. I saw the play in London a long time ago, it really stuck with me and was so good. I still remember how well done it was. I can't wait for the movie version to come out.


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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