The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill
This is one of those books I feel like I should have read well before now, but better late than never as they say. I did watch the film a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I now agree with others that, as is usually the case, the book is so much better.
I picked up my paperback copy from an independent book shop whilst on holiday in Holmfirth last year. I had read The Small Hand by Susan Hill previously and I really enjoyed that, so I was looking forward to reading more of her stories. I’m so glad I finally got round to reading The Woman in Black. If you have never read it before either, then I highly recommend it.
Not much phases me in books to be honest, but I do find a ghost story quite unnerving and this one really did give me goosebumps. I found Arthur Kipps’ story both terrifying and heart-wrenching.
What he sees at Mrs Drablow’s funeral is extremely creepy and even more so for him not realising what he was actually seeing at that time. I felt his frustrations with the locals who didn’t seem to want to offer any information about Mrs Drablow as I would be curious too. I understood why they were so reluctant as the story progresses.
The descriptions of Mrs Drablow’s house alone are enough to give you the chills. Where it is situated even more so. I certainly wouldn’t want to stay there on my own, so I take my hat off to Arthur who seems unperturbed initially. What he experiences whilst there though is terrifying (my heart was thumping on more than one occasion) and the ultimate consequences of his time there made my heart break for him.
This is one of those stories which will stay with me for a long time to come and I have been told that there is a theatre production which is quite terrifying, so I hope to catch that at some point. I imagine it would be quite an experience.