“For I see that then I was still all in a state of innocence, but that innocence, once lost, is lost forever.” – Susan Hill.
The Woman in Black is a horror story, a ghost story. I reviewed another book by Susan Hill a while ago, Printer’s Devil Court, which I had found disappointing as a ghost story, but I still had high hopes for The Woman in Black because it is well-known.
The Woman in Black is about Arthur, our narrator, who is sent to Crythin Gifford because of his job. Here he notices a woman in black. He encounters this woman again when he has to visit Eel Marsh House and Arthur becomes intrigued at the mystery surrounding her as well as the mysterious happenings within the house and in the marsh.
I really enjoyed reading The Woman in Black. Hill writes in lots of detail, making images such as the woman in black very vivid allowing you to picture everything and this makes the whole story scarier. She also uses a lot of complex sentences which helps build tension and suspense. The writing made the story work really well as a ghost story and even scared me slightly and this is coming from someone who has been known to laugh at horror movies. As a matter of fact, The Woman in Black was made into a movie and released in 2012 and is actually one of those films I laughed at when it showed at the cinema.Now, I did watch the movie first, but it is in fact very different to the book. Also, because approximately three years had passed I couldn’t remember the plot of the movie very well. As a result of this the book wasn’t very spoiled for me, only making it scarier.
This book is chilling and creepy and I loved it. I love that feeling when you are scared for the characters because you have no idea what the thing they are up against is capable of, because you have no idea how the story is going to end, except that you know, somehow, he lives (this is one of the ways in which the book is different to the movie); it is thrilling. At moments I was scared for Arthur, and I was scared for Spider, I was even scared for myself. However, I was reading this book in bed, in the dark, by the light on my phone so it is really not very surprising if I managed to scare myself a little.
I feel that this is going to be one of those stories that will never leave me and possibly something I could reread. I may have uncovered the mystery, but it is only a short book and I think it may even be enjoyable to read to someone else for their reaction (I am a lovely person, honest).
To me, this book is a 5/5 and I recommend it to everyone who loves horror, ghost stories and just the supernatural in general. As a matter of fact, if you like Supernatural, you are likely to enjoy this book (especially if you liked the first season of the show).
Have any of you read this book? What did you think?