Samantha's Reviews > The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read April 9, 2018 to April 13, 2018.

A fast and frightening read, just the right book for my mood. It was scary and tense without being gory or disgusting. It echoed and riffed on many classic works I love, and still felt fresh and new. With the atmosphere of a classic gothic ghost story, but without the most annoying tropes of that genre.

Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer, is sent to settle the estate of Mrs. Alice Drablow. Kipps is middle aged, with grown children at the beginning of the book, when he takes the trip down memory lane that makes up the rest of the book, recalling a frightening experience of his youth. Young Kipps reminds me Jonathan Harker of Dracula, fresh-faced and confident, wholesome and strong. Like Harker, Kipps doesn't fare well when he comes face to face with the supernatural. At that point, he brings to mind the governess of The Turn of the Screw. I really enjoyed the gender flip of giving the frightening experience to a young man ingenue instead of a woman.

I can't tell you much about the ghost in this story without spoiling the joy of reading the book, so I'll just say that she was wonderfully menacing and malevolent, and her backstory, when we learn it is heartbreaking.

The setting is practically a character in itself, with the isolated Eel Marsh house, surrounded by the moors and dangerous marshes. We hit all the high spots of gothic setting in the house, the cemetery, and the surrounding countryside.

If you're a fan of gothic ghost stories, then this one is for you.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 9, 2018 – Started Reading
April 9, 2018 – Shelved
April 13, 2018 – Finished Reading

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