How did I get the book? StorytellerInc Book Club
Genre: Gothic / Horror
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 book ends with the woman in black exacting a final, terrible revenge.
200words (or less) review: This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. That Arthur Kipps story begins on Christmas Eve was a surprise, as is that the story of the woman in black is from his past. Arthur has decided to share this history, which his family will only learn of after his death and so we begin…
The Woman in Black is a short book and a good section is set aside to building up the story and atmosphere. The pacing for me was ideal because it gave me all the time I wanted to create a vivid picture of Eel Marsh House in my mind. The clinging fog, the sound of the pony trap, the cries across the marsh. Not least the tension that builds around the locked room and the bump bump bump that Arthur Kipps hears through the door he can’t force open.
Susan Hill certainly has a skill for getting under your skin. It’s a slowly building unnerving tale that will stick around after you’ve finished.