The Woman in Black by Susan HillWhat real reader does not yearn, somewhere in the recesses of his or her heart, 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 Hills 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 childs 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, isnt dead after all.
'The Woman in Black': Susan Hill Biography
The Woman in Black
T his is a ghost story, so we start with the storyteller. Literary critics rarely use this last term, preferring to talk of the "narrator". But when it comes to hauntings this traditional description is fitting. Arthur Kipps is giving us a tale that he is condemned by his own memories to tell. When the novella opens, he is a man in late middle age, surrounded by adult stepchildren at Christmas. Naturally they begin to tell ghost stories: Christmas is the time for this, when the year is darkest and family or friends are gathered together to be entertained. For the classic ghost story is a performance.
Look Inside. Oct 18, ISBN The classic ghost story from the author of The Mist in the Mirror : a chilling tale about a menacing spectre haunting a small English town. Now a major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs.
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There are undertakers with shovels, of course, a local official who would rather be anywhere else, and one Mr Arthur Kipps, solicitor from London. He is to spend the night in Eel Marsh House, the place where the old recluse died amidst a sinking swamp, a blinding fog and a baleful mystery about which the townsfolk refuse to speak.