Publisher: Hammish Hamilton
Release Date: 10 October 1983
Page Count: 164
Series: The Woman in Black #1
Genre: Gothic / Horror
Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story has as its hero Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north from London to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. The routine formalities he anticipates give way to a tumble of events and secrets more sinister and terrifying than any nightmare: the rocking chair in the deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and most dreadfully--and for Kipps most tragically--The Woman In Black.
Okay, so I might have broke the rule on this one and totally saw the movie before I read the book. To be fair I had never heard of Susan Hill or The Woman in Black. However, since I've seen the movie I haven't been able to forget how me and a friend spent most of the movie peeking out of hoodies, and then had to go see another movie to make ourselves feel better. Since then the book has been on my TBR pile to read. This year was the year I had enough fore thought to request it from the library.
Despite The Woman in Black being smaller novel, it took me a couple of days to get through the opening section. Which has nothing to do with Susan Hill or her writing. It has has everything to do with seeing the movie first. It's at the start were the movie and the book clearly don't line up, for reasons I don't want to mention in case someone hasn't seen the movie. So it took my brain a while to get us to the difference.
It's because of this difference that the book took a slightly different turn than the movie, but it was easy for me to slip into the story that Susan Hill was telling. I got so lost in the narration she set with our main character Arthur Kipps and what was happening to him. Once he gets to Eel Marsh House the book takes off and becomes almost impossible to put down. I was glad I had the entire day to read it, otherwise I would have stayed up to late. Freaked myself out. Then my a zombie at work.
As a whole the book isn't scary in the sense that movie was. There was no real moment where I jumped. However, I am glad I read it during the day and with someone else in the house. For me it felt like I was never alone when I was reading the book. This weird feeling to read the book a little faster until I got through Eel House Marsh with Arthur and get him back home. In fact I think the movie made Arthur's story worse, because I had a solid visual of what she could look like.
Honestly, I don't have any real complaints about the work. Only that I should have read it sooner. It's creepy as all get out, and I did not like the end. Not because it doesn't the story up, or it felt out of place. Because even though I knew something terrible was still set to happen. The beginning of the book and the end of the book hadn't come full circle. I did not like it! Broke my heart. Into to pieces!
Buy, Borrow, Skip: If your in the mood for something spooky, definitely scoop this one up from your local library.