Woman in Black review

Goodreads describes it as follows:

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, The Woman in Black is a remarkable thriller of the first-rate.

Because the movie is coming out in two weeks, I thought I should read this book and have time to digest it before shelling out the ton of money it will cost to go (close to $20 per person).  I also figured the book’s pages would number into the 300+ so that inspired me to get to it faster.

The book, astonishingly, is only 124 pages long.  It astonishes me because when reading it, I swore it had to be longer.  Ms. Hill packs so much in the 124 pages – if all authors did this, I’d easily be able to read 200 books a year.

In the story, Mr. Kipp starts out as an old gentleman who decides he should write down this terrible time in his life in hopes that the nightmares, feelings of dread and hopelessness would finally release their hold on his heart.  We follow him to the marshes of England to put Ms. Drablow’s estate in order.  No one will help him as Eel Marsh House is reputed to be haunted by a woman in black.

Being the youngster he is, still full of piss and vinegar, he chooses to ignore the many warnings he receives about the house, passing them off as stories of the weaker mind.  He had no fears and says himself that he felt superior to the inhabitants of the small town.  He quickly learns that he is not impervious to the mystery of the house and the terrifying woman in black.

Ms Hill writes in such a way that I feel I’m going back in time with Mr. Kipp as he transitions from the older to younger man. Her flow and descriptions of the marsh made it sound like a mystically beautiful, albeit terrifyingly dangerous, place to visit.  Spider, the little terrier, has a loveable personality that makes you smile even as you cringe.

I give the book an A  – it is a short read well worth the effort.  🙂

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