Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill



Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black and her terrible purpose


To be honest, I didn’t have particularly high hopes for this book going into it. I’d heard from a lot of people that they didn’t like it and I already knew the story from the movie adaptation so there was already a level of expectation from it.

Maybe I’m not giving this book enough credit because I read it in the 30-degree heat of tropical Australia, sat around the pool or on the beach, but I didn’t find it particularly atmospheric. It’s a strange one. I didn’t love this book and I didn’t find it particularly scary in the long run, however, there were some thoroughly creepy moments where the hair raised on the back of my neck. There just weren’t enough moments like this and I’ve had no long-lasting impression. Right now I’m sat here wondering what else I can say because I’m struggling to remember the book at all. Basically, I’m not the biggest fan of “traditional” ghost stories so it’s no wonder that this didn’t frighten me like I wish that it had.

Hill is undeniably a talented writer. I read a short story collection of hers a while back and I had the same opinion as I have to this book – well written but not nearly spooky enough. But quite honestly, I will not be seeking out any other Hill books from here on out. I don’t have any more of her work on my shelves and I don’t plan on buying any either.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Book Details:

Page: 208
Edition Published: 1998
Genre: Horror
Goodreads Av. Rating: 3.71

8 Replies to “Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill”

  1. Hill’s a writer I’ve been meaning to check out for ages, but I probably won’t start here. I also know the story already from the film so I imagine that would dilute a bit of the suspense!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry this didn’t really work for you! It’s so disappointing when a book shows you it has potential with some of it’s scenes, so you’re inclined to keep reading, but then overall it’s unimpressive. I hope the next one is better!


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