The Woman in Black by Susan Hill #BookReview

Title: The Woman in Black | Author:Susan Hill | Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher | Publication Date: December 2001 | Pages: 138 | Genre: Horror | Source: Library

The Woman in Black

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; he also hears the terrifying sounds on the marsh.

Despite Kipps’s experiences he resolves to spend the night at the house and fulfil his professional duty. It is this night at Eel Marsh House that contains the greatest horror for Kipps. Kipps later discovers the reasons behind the hauntings at Eel Marsh House. 

The Woman in Black Review

The Woman In Black Review

Well, to be honest, I have to wonder if maybe I ruined the book by watching the movie beforehand. Not that the movie was fantastic, mind you, but I think I just kept unconsciously comparing the two in mind. While the book definitely was better than the movie, it was hard to focus as fully on the book as I could have, I believe. Reading some of the many reviews for the Woman in Black I feel like I’m missing something, but… regardless, my review follows as such:

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill  was a solid piece of work, but nothing amazing. It was not memorable, the prose was not fantastic, but it was a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Arthur Kipps is a drab fellow, but I did admire his determination. There were scenes that were undoubtedly creepy (especially at the end), but nothing was particularly memorable.

The ending surprised me, since the movie re-orders certain events, and I had thought that perhaps the movie had just invented a rather large piece of the story, but no.. suddenly in the last chapter, that piece materializes. As stated, the movie plays it differently, but both have their advantages. I can’t say one is better than the other in terms of ending.

I doubt I will ever re-read this book, but I will say the book was better than the movie. (Though, honestly, if you’re reading book reviews online, you’re surely not surprised by that assessment!)

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