Carolyn Storer's Reviews > The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
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's review
Jun 23, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: book-list-2010, horror, favourites
Read 2 times. Last read September 1, 1990.

I first read 'The Woman in Black' back in 1990 - I loved it then and I still love it now. I re-read it especially for my 'All Hallows Eve' event and I'm so pleased I revisited this amazing book.

The eeriness of the story is combined with delicious descriptive prose. This is what I love about Hills' writing. She's able to describe the world surrounding her characters with such detail I could actually be there, smelling the morning dew, feeling the biting wind on my skin, sensing the fear that grips Arthur Kipps that fateful day...

Her writing mesmerises me and I cannot bare to put her books down, and I've read many, all with their own uniqueness, but none, for me, come close to the darkly atmospheric 'The Woman in Black'.

The reader is pulled into the story with teasing snippets as we learn about Kipps' ghostly past. We first meet him in old age as he sits around a roaring fire on Christmas Eve with his beloved family. But the experiences of his past still haunt him so he decides to exorcise them by writing about them in detail and this is where we, the reader, learn what those experiences were which have caused him so much anxiety and many sleepless nights.

Kipps takes us back to when he was a young junior solicitor working his way up the ladder, when one day his boss gives him the responsibility of attending the funeral of a client. Little did Kipps know that this assignment would change his life forever. He takes the trip to Crythin Gifford, a small place in the country, sparten and desolate surrounded by marches and cold November fog.

The village folk greet him well until they hear he has arrived for Mrs Drablow's funeral and tend to her estate and he's baffled by their reaction. But after one night in Eel Marsh House, Kipps begins to understand as he's scared beyond all imagination. Although I knew how it ended, as this is my second reading, it's still shocking and sad.


This is one of my favourite books - it's a brilliant old-fashioned ghost story packed with bone-chilling suspense. Everything is written in wonderful detail and you're pulled into the story from the very first page. A fabulous read - I can't recommend it enough!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Started Reading
September 1, 1990 – Finished Reading
June 23, 2009 – Shelved
October 18, 2010 – Shelved as: book-list-2010
October 18, 2010 – Shelved as: horror
August 29, 2015 – Shelved as: favourites

Comments (showing 1-2)

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message 2: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Me too! Me too! No matter how many times I read "Woman in Black", I still find myself turning on all the lights and looking over my shoulder, etc. Positively brilliant indeed!

Carolyn  Storer It really is awesome - so atmospheric. My fav ghost story ever!

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