Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black
Susan Hill
164 pages
Publisher: Vintage
Source: Paperbackswap.com

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Arthur Kipps is a young lawyer who is sent by his firm to Crythin Giffrod, a faraway town where he must attend the funeral of Alice Drablow and then attend to her paperwork at her home, Eel Marsh House.  Having not been from the area, Arthur has no idea the horror that await him in the town, something the residents know but are hesitant to share.

Now I know a lot of horror fanatics who have and will say that this book is not scary.  And, having read it, I can say that it's not scary like a horror movie that startles you out of your seat with gore.  It's a little more cerebral than that.  The author, Susan Hill, has the great ability to build suspense with her words.  I felt the stress of impending doom in my heart the further I read on in this book.  That's a talent!

Susan Hill created two horrors with this novel.  First, there is your obvious horror - that of some tortured paranormal being haunting creepy places.  But second, there is a more subtle horror - the kind of personal horror that happens every day in real life, the kind of horror that will change your life for the worst.  It's that kind of horror that had me saying at the end of the novel, "That's horrible," and I don't mean the novel was horrible.  It's just a horrible tragedy.

Four stars.  A must read, before you see the movie, but even if you are not.

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