The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

Book - 2011
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Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor, travels to the north of England to settle the estate of Alice Drablow, but unexpectedly encounters a series of sinster events.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2011
Edition: First Vintage Books edition
ISBN: 9780307950215
Branch Call Number: FICTION Hil
Description: 164 pages ; 21 cm

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From Library Staff

A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town.

After an old woman dies in the moors of northern England, a young lawyer must go there to settle the estate. A series of eerie occurrences leads the young man into an increasingly dangerous place.

Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor, travels to the north of England to settle the estate of Alice Drablow, but unexpectedly encounters a series of sinster events. (Catalog summary)


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TSCPL_Miranda Oct 12, 2020

This is another creepy page-turner that will keep you intrigued until the final, dark twist. The Woman in Black was published in 1983, but it reads like a classic Victorian ghost story. The story begins with a family gathered around the fire to tell ghost stories at Christmas. This sounds a bit strange to the modern reader, but it was a tradition. (Think A Christmas Carol, for an example of another Christmas-time ghost story). The narrator is enjoying the evening with his wife and stepchildren, until the tales of terror begin. He hints that he had an experience of such horror as a younger man that it completely changed him. He is still so shaken that he is unable to share the story as part of the festivities.

Afterward he pledges to write the story down for posterity. That tale is the one we read as The Woman in Black. As a young man and a new solicitor, Arthur Kipps is sent to a remote area in northern England to settle a woman’s estate. As he gets closer to his destination, he finds the name of the deceased woman strikes dread into those around him.

Soon Kipps begins to see things others do not, such as a woman in black looking into the grave of the deceased at the funeral. No one is willing to accompany him to the estate in the marsh, aside from a driver who will only drop him off and pick him up. Kipps chalks their behavior up to rural superstition. However, as he begins to sort through papers at the house, he sees and hears much that he can’t explain. In time the house and the marsh will give up their secrets, but Kipps will never be the same.

a
Alpha_zzz
Jul 28, 2020

This wasn’t a bad book. It was mediocre-good. It’s a book that stays with you though, regardless of how you rate it.
I was hoping for a little more of the scare-factor, but it was really about a ghost and a man’s courage to confront it and move on with his life. It wasn’t necessarily a winning proposition.

l
lozza1401
May 11, 2020

A quick creepy thriller which I recommend.

Nicr Oct 31, 2019

"You must know at least one ghost story...everyone knows one...." Christmas Eve, gathered around the fire with the lights out, it's time for a tale. Except that Arthur Kipp's--which he cannot tell--is true. An isolated manor house enveloped in mist, a ghostly pony and trap, the eponymous woman in black, etc.--all the spooky trappings of a traditional ghost story, handsomely mounted.

s
StrangelyExuberant
Oct 18, 2019

I really liked this book. However, if you are remembering any aspect of the movie they made forget it before you read this. This is a great example of the changes movies make. It was spooky and creepy story written in the style of the classical novels.

h
HamiltonBrian
May 12, 2019

I think I've been reading too many ghost stories as of late. This one seemed to be the idea fodder for nearly the same sort of novel that I read a few weeks ago (check my reviews). The story isn't bad, but I found the writing to be plodding and disinteresting. I skimmed and scanned ahead frequently, thinking, "Get me to an interesting part."

Formulaic, somewhat disinteresting characters. I did like having the mystery unravel and reveal itself, but I felt it would never happen and I would just read about this terrified man staying in a stodgy, out-of-the way house.

Read it as a form of research in the genre, but little else.

m
MillieBT
Oct 13, 2018

Arthur Kipps unravels his experiences in Crythin Gifford and his days at Eel Marsh House...
ghost story with a Victorian feeling,rural setting and family drama

o
Olgalevin
Nov 01, 2017

Probably one of the best ghost stories I've read thus far.

q
Quietday
Nov 01, 2017

I have only ventured into the thriller genre in the past few months. At 44, I decided to challenge myself, avoiding anything gory, and began with books like "The Woman in Cabin 10", "The River at Night" and "The Child finder". To my surprise, nothing really rattled me so based on Goodreads reviews, I chose this one for my Halloween read.

Part of my reluctance has been the categorization of novels. Horror can mean any number of things. I can't stomach Stephen King, for example. So I would call this gothic, perhaps?

It is well written. It pulls you in and awakens your emotions without being too violent or upsetting. I really relished the setting, the characters and the descriptive storytelling. I would recommend it and will look for other titles by Hill. It has a Victorian feel and the components of a true ghost story.

ArapahoeKati Aug 17, 2017

This had all the vibes of an old Victorian mystery--and it hit all the right notes for me. The "reveal" at the end creeped me out!

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