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Thursday, November 15, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Woman in Black by Susan Hill @susanhillwriter @BlackstoneAudio

SERIES: The Woman in Black, Book #1
AUTHOR: Susan Hill 
NARRATOR: Ralph Cosham
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2011 (first published 1983)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, MP3-CD
LENGTH: 4 hrs and 33 mins
GENRE: Horror, Gothic
ISBN: 9781441779779
What true readers do not yearn, somewhere in the recesses of their hearts, for a really literate, first-class thriller--one that chills the body but warms the soul with plot, perception, and language at once astute and vivid? In other words, a ghost story written by Jane Austen? Alas, we cannot give you Austen, but Susan Hill's remarkable Woman in Black comes as close as our era can provide. Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story has as its hero Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north from London to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. The routine formalities he anticipates give way to a tumble of events and secrets more sinister and terrifying than any nightmare: the rocking chair in the deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and most dreadfully--and for Kipps most tragically--the woman in black. The Woman in Black is both a brilliant exercise in atmosphere and controlled horror and a delicious spine-tingler--proof positive that this neglected genre, the ghost story, isn't dead after all.


I really enjoyed this gothic tale!

It is Christmas Eve, and the children want their step-father to tell them a ghost story around the fire. He does not wish to do so, so he gets up and goes outside. He contemplates that perhaps it is time to tell his story, and he decides that he will put it in writing.

Arthur, a lawyer, is sent by his boss to attend the funeral of one of their recently deceased clients and to organize her papers. At the funeral, Arthur sees an emaciated woman dressed in black. When he asks about her, the deceased's agent denies seeing anyone fitting that description. Following the funeral, Arthur goes back to the inn to wait for the man who is to take him to the estate in the morning.

When the tide rolls in, Eel Marsh House is cut off from the rest of town which isolates it completely. The driver, Keckwick, drops Arthur off at the estate and tells him that he'll be back before the evening tide. Arthur sees the woman in black again on the grounds of the estate, but she disappears before he can reach her. Inside the manor, Arthur realizes that it is going to take longer than expected to go through the woman's papers so he decides that the following day he will take his belongings with him and stay at the house rather than travelling back and forth each day. 

I loved the creepy remote setting of Eel Marsh House! The fog adds to the eeriness.  Arthur sees and hears things that no one else does, and the house contains a mysterious locked door. 

The sequel, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, is authored by someone else (Martyn Waites). I hope it's just as good as this one!

Ralph Cosham's narration was excellent. His voice added to the desolate feel of the story and made this a great listen!

The 2012 film adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe looks even scarier than the book! Check it out:


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy gothic ghost stories!

This book qualifies as:

1 comment:

  1. I'm liking this one and the cover is superb. Thanks for your wonderful review.


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