“A man may be accused of cowardice for fleeing away from all manner of physical dangers but when things supernatural, insubstantial and inexplicable threaten not only his safety and well-being but his sanity, his innermost soul, then retreat is not a sign of weakness but the most prudent course.” - Susan Hill, The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill is a classic ghost story set on the English moor. Arthur Kipps is a young solicitor who travels from London to attend the funeral and tie up the loose ends after the death of Mrs. Alice Drablow, one of his company's clients. When Arthur arrives in Crythin Gifford, an isolated small town he discovers that the people who live there seem reluctant to talk about Mrs. Drablow and her estate, Eel Marsh House.
I've loved ghost stories as long as I can remember. I've always been interested and fascinated by the things that scare us. After years of watching too many horror movies and reading hundreds of pages of zombie fiction, I'm not easily scared. But there was something about The Woman in Black that I still found really creepy and I have to admit that I had to turn on all the lights when I was reading it home alone at night. The story-line is pretty predictable but I think Susan Hill did a great job with building that eerie feeling that a good ghost story needs. I also think that Susan Hills' writing's beautiful and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the house, the town and the people. I could clearly imagine everything in front of me. To be honest, not much happens in this novel but I still couldn't put it down. I just liked the eerie atmosphere in the story and I kind of enjoyed being a bit scared. I've read quite mixed reviews about The Woman in Black and I think the whole reading experience in this case depends on if you get the right feeling or not. If you don't get scared you're probably going to think it's a pretty boring book.
So yes, I thought that The Woman in Black was a really enjoyable (and creepy) read. It's a short novel and a perfect read for a rainy day in October. I would recommend it to all of you (especially if you like classic ghost stories), but I still think a few of you won't like it as much as I did. But hey, it's a short book so it's worth taking a chance! I give The Woman in Black by Susan Hill 4/5 stars.
This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.