Kristen's Reviews > The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
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's review
Aug 02, 2012

it was ok

This was a typical Gothic fiction story and it was a decent story, if fairly predictable.

Young London solicitor Arthur Kipps is sent to remote Eel Marsh House, to attend the funeral of firm client Mrs. Alice Drablow, and see to her effects and papers.

However, upon arriving in the small town, Arthur quickly realizes that something odd and sinister is going on. The locals seem deeply uncomfortable and fearful of any mention of Mrs. Drablow or her house.

Arthur, thinking this all a lot of superstitious nonsense quickly gets to work in the house sorting through papers and effects on his own since nobody from town is willing to accompany him or assist with sorting Mrs. Drablow's effects.

It quickly becomes apparent that there is in fact a very vengeful ghost haunting the house, but who is she and what does she want?

Since the intent of Gothic fiction is to create a moody and atmospheric backdrop for the plot and use subtlety rather than gore to make the reader's hair stand on end, I would say this book is a passable example. The story was very easy to figure out, and I knew who the Woman in Black was, and why she was hanging around to annoy people long before the details were revealed in the story so not much of a mystery.

The ending was a bit more of a surprise, so point for that, but the truth is that I am planning to see the movie that has been made of this story and I wanted to read the book first. I'm hoping the movie has more in terms of creepiness and chilling moments, because the book really didn't. Okay, but certainly not one I would recommend friends rush out to read.”

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