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A Kind Man

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  404 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Tommy Carr was a kind man; Eve had been able to tell that after half an hour of knowing him. There had never been a day when he had not shown her some small kindness. The birth of a daughter, Jeannie Eliza, crowns the young couple's happiness - just as her shockingly early death casts them low. But they do not need to talk about Jeannie because she remains with them, and t ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 6th 2011 by Chatto & Windus (first published 2011)
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Yes, I am most definitely a Susan Hill fan and I apologise in advance if this ends up being a gushing post verging on the let's skip beatification and just make her a saint of storytellers right here, right now. You've probably gathered by now that she's done it again - she's created a wonderful gem of a story whose simplicity belies a rainbow of human emotions and feelings.

Unlike my other encounters with Susan Hill's writing, this is not a ghost story as such although there is a definite elemen
Nesa Sivagnanam
One of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have read in a long time. The book is a novella and it tells such a simple little tale yet it's moving and complex and so very lovely.

A woman meets a man, a kind man, and they marry. Everyone says he's a kind man and he never fails to be kind to her, his wife. They are quietly happy. They build a quite happy home together. He's kind and quiet and gentle. A child is born and he plays music to her. She's sunshine in their home. Three years later the ch
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Nov 24, 2014 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio
Difficult to rate this one - I can't say I enjoyed it as it was very bleak and sad (I seem to be going through a patch of sad books lately *sigh*) but it was a good story.
Brief synopsis - Eve and Tommy struggle through life together - she has a very demanding sister with a useless husband and loads of kids whereas Eve has one child who dies at 3 years old. Tommy falls ill and it seems she will lose him too but for a supernatural element that gives them some hope - 2.5 stars.
Susan Hill's literary novels seem to be short period pieces set in an undisclosed time in England. In this book I think we can guess that the time is the 1930s and that it takes place in an industrial town in Northern England, probably Yorkshire. She is also attracted to writing ghost stories and this novel does have a supernatural component, not connected with haunting, but something that takes place for which there is no rational explanation.

The setting is beautifully described and the reader
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This novel is both detailed and somehow soft-focus. Like a verbal equivalent of Merchant-Ivory's visual style. It isn't clear where in England this is set, or quite when (the 30s? The 50s?). There's a lot of telling rather than showing with only certain pivotal scenes enacted before us. The narrative is an exercise in poise, engaging the reader's empathy while retaining a certain neutral objectivity. Situations rather than language elicit an emotional response, but there are stretches that feel ...more
A book of two halves. I love Susan Hill and the first half of the book was really good. She writes so beautifully about human nature and relationships and the focus on loss and grief was so moving. However, I did not enjoy the second half. I don t want to spoil it so won t say too much but I felt it really detracted from the beautiful first half and the ending was disappointing. Still a great read although frustrating that the last twenty pages are chapters of another book. Why?? It was a thin b ...more
The kind man of the title is Tommy Carr, the man Eve marries. He is such a contrast to John Ballard, Eve’s sister Miriam marries. Tommy and Eve eventually have the baby they had hoped for – a beautiful little girl, but when, at the age of three, she dies suddenly and unexpectedly they learn to accept it and grieve quietly. Some time later Tommy becomes seriously ill and is literally at death’s door as the cancer eats away at him, when something truly miraculous happens. No one can explain it, bu ...more
This is a deceptively simple book. Beautifully written and thoughtful, it is the story of a young couple in England who find one another, marry, have a child and quiet happiness, then lose the child. There's a bit of a supernatural element. The book made me think about self, and love and place. Still wondering how the sister could have been so ungenrous and unkind.
A slight book of under 200 pages, but oh so impressive - a simple gentle romance against an understated background of rural life and times of economic depression in the 1920's/30's. It is beautifully written with a great economy of style, and elegiac evocative descriptions conveying the sense of place, period and character. Some reviewers seemed irritated by the fact the characters accepted their fate of poverty, death, multi- pregnancies etc. but wasn't that often the reaction at that time - pe ...more
Rachael Gorman
As a fan of the Simon Serrailer series I decided to try a few of Susan Hills other books while I waited for the next in the series. I've read a couple of other books now and the style of writing is a bit different and not quite as exciting as the detective series but in saying that I quite liked this book. Very easy to read, a simple and sweet story about a couple with hardships in their lives and how they overcome them, and although it's not a page turner like the before mentioned Serrailer boo ...more
a gentle read with a very clear moral.
Conoscevo già Susan Hill per aver letto, molti anni fa, La donna in nero (da cui recentemente è stato tratto un film con Daniel Radcliffe, The Woman in Black) che ricordavo piacevole ma anche di impostazione classica, senza grosse sorprese. Adesso mi viene il dubbio di non averlo letto con la dovuta attenzione (o forse mi è mancata proprio la maturità letteraria).

A Kind Man è la storia di un matrimonio, quello tra Eve e Tommy, ambientata in una cittadina industriale senza nome (indicativamente s
Bronwyn Rykiert
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Review from Badelynge
I read my first Susan Hill book back in the dim, misty past of my college days. Nestled in my English Lit reading list amongst Thomas Hardy, T.S.Eliot, G.B.Shaw, Grahame Greene etc was I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill. To an 18 year old who was more used to reading wall to wall epic fantasy and sci-fi I found Hill's writing the most accessible, though I admit it wasn't until a much later reread that I really appreciated the sheer depth and truth of her writing. Altho
This was a reading group book and certainly provided plenty to discuss for such a short book.
I personally found the style of writing depressing - the whole story had an aura of sadness and inevitability about it, with the main characters all too accepting of whatever life throws at them. Perhaps that is partly because of the apparent time frame (in the 1930's I'm assuming) and the place (North of England?)Ms Hill doesn't elaborate,but perhaps leaves it to the reader to fill in for themselves.
Ally Atherton
Living somewhere in industrial England, this is about one woman's struggle to deal with life, loss and the impending doom of widespread poverty.

It sounds gloomy but Susan Hill's beautiful prose is spellbounding at times and each page is almost edible as she paints words like not many other writers can. This is the story of Eve and how the joys of childbirth and marriage can crumble and force you to take a different, haunting path.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this but found the ending left me
Sweet, elegaic, poetic, and a bit slight. It's obviously a fable, with the message that giving a gift to others must be its own reward. I liked the two main characters, who are hardworking and decent, and loathed the sister and brother-in-law, who are not. A sharp study of human nature, but doesn't add anything new to the conversation.
Lara May
I really found this a difficult book to like - the characters are dull, everyone seems to be going no where and its all feels a bit lost in time and space. I read it for book club and its really not a book i would recommend.

i do though have a prejudice against characters that accept what unfolds as thought they have not choices - it like life happens to them and they just go with it no questions asked - who lives like that? I mean Tom - the kind man in question gets this ability and its just tha
Debbie Walker
A beautiful story, sad, tragic and yet somehow uplifting and I was left thinking about the story for ages after the last page was read, very well written and recommended.

After the tragic death of their daughter and the following illness of Tommy, he became blessed with the power to help others.
The first book by Susan Hill that I have read. It is interesting, beautifully written, especially after reading some dreadful writing recently, particularly in the National Trust Guide, oddly enough.
But it struck me as very peculiar. I couldn't get out of my mind the discrepancy between SH, a well-to-do woman living presumably a smart literary existence near Stratford, with the portrayal of the working class people in the unspecified factory town. It all seemed rather false, but maybe that was
This is a sweet novella with clearly defined characters and morals. Tom Carr, the eponymous kind man, fall somewhere between Jesus and the John Travolta character from the 90s movie Phenomenon. Hill shows her diversity here as she stays clear of the spookiness of some of her novels, or the disturbing characters in others.
Molly Moore
I am a big fan of Susan Hill's writing. She seems to be able to tell such intricate and detailed stories in such a short time. Her characters are always full and believable and even when she is writing a ghost story, maybe especially when she is writing a ghost story, she can weave a totally believable tale that draws you in and has you on the edge of your seat... a fine example of this is The Woman In Black. However for the first time in a long while this book, The Kind Man, feel short for me a ...more
Having never read any Susan Hill before and only having seen the play based on A Woman in Black at the theatre, I was not sure what to expect. I suppose I should have expected some kind of supernatural element because of A Woman in Black but this story starts as a story of loss and grief, told with authentic emotion that it was still somewhat of a surprise when the unexpected happened despite a particular tone of foreboding. Her writing is at times poetic and at other times so simple, yet this s ...more
Beautifully written.
Once I started I couldn't put it down.
A sad book full of emotions and as always with Susan Hill an excellent read!
Julie Pritchard
Jul 14, 2014 Julie Pritchard rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like a heartwarming story
Recommended to Julie by: no one
Shelves: fiction
i enjoyed this book very much an easy read from start to finish,a very touching story of true love and friendship through rough and smooth.pure escapism.
Very easy read! Enjoyed the book & the style of writing. Not going to give away any storyline, simply a nice "kind" book :)
Well-written but I thought a perplexingly simple, sentimental, wishful-thinking story. I don't get off on this sort of superstitious idea.
Susan Grossey
I find Susan Hill's books very variable, but this was a little gem - concise, precise and extraordinarily moving. I disagree with those who have said that the characters are supine, simply giving in to their fates - for this is how life was for so many people at the time (and indeed still is, in some parts of the world). Conversely, I found them dignified and entirely credible.

I won't go into plot detail, as spoilers would be inevitable, but suffice to say that I was engaged throughout, and that
Helen Farrow
A brilliant read from Susan Hill as usual.
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A Kind Man, 1 5 Oct 23, 2013 08:09PM  
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Susan Hill was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 1942. Her hometown was later referred to in her novel A Change for the Better (1969) and some short stories especially "Cockles and Mussels".

She attended Scarborough Convent School, where she became interested in theatre and literature. Her family left Scarborough in 1958 and moved to Coventry where her father worked in car and aircraft factor
More about Susan Hill...
The Woman in Black The Various Haunts of Men (Simon Serrailler, #1) The Pure in Heart (Simon Serrailler, #2) The Small Hand: A Ghost Story The Risk of Darkness (Simon Serrailler, #3)

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