The Woman in Black – Book Review

I don’t ever want to see a movie first and then read the book. Ever!

This book is about a young attorney who has to travel to a marshy castle to put in order some legal paperwork from a recent death. There, he encounters some very spooky and frightening sounds and sights.  And also some very sad news about the deceased and its other “residents”. The ending is different from the movie and I just can’t believe the movie strayed so far away from the book!

The book is beautifully written and dark, but not in a gory way, but more in a sad way. The moments of brightness or light-hardheartedness are enveloped by the overall sadness of Mr. Kipp. When I finished the book, I closed it and almost cried. Not because of the last scene, but more because of the abrupt ending of the book. But it was perfect. The author was able to pull me into Kipp’s world and it took me a while to come back to my happy cheery self. I love it when books can do that. When words draw out emotions and thoughts. Like I always tell my children, “Words are very important”.

Susan Hill is an extraordinary author. I was surprised that the book was written in 1983. She does an excellent job in capturing the feel of the late 1800’s early 1900’s. It is only about 140 pages and can be read in one sitting.

I recommend this book to Gothic romance readers. If you like the Bronte sisters, you will love this book. The book is not sensual, but there are some adult themes like children being born out of wedlock and the consequences of that. The book is also scary and chilling, and because of this I would only let my teenagers read it. This would be a great read for high school English class and I do hope it becomes a classic if it isn’t already.

Warning: If you have seen the movie, you will be annoyed at how they butchered the book.


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