The Woman in Black - Susan Hill (Review & Giveaway!)

4 Stars!
Set in Victorian England, Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor in London, is summoned to Crythin Gifford to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, and to sort through her papers before returning to London. It is here that Kipps first sees the woman in black and begins to gain an impression of the mystery surrounding her. From the funeral he travels to Eel Marsh House and sees the woman again, plus he also hears the terrifying sounds of adult and child passengers sinking into the quicksand on a pony and trap.

Despite Kipps’s experiences he resolves to spend the night at the house and fulfill his professional duty.It is this night at Eel Marsh House that contains the greatest horror for Kipps. Rescued by Mr Daily, a friend he met on the train, Kipps discovers the reasons behind the hauntings at Eel Marsh House. The book ends with tragedy, with the woman in black exacting a final, terrible revenge.

Writer, journalist and novelist Susan Elizabeth Hill was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire in 1942. For part of her education she attended a grammar school in Coventry before studying English at King’s College, University London. By then, she had written her first novel, The Enclosure (1961), in the evenings and at weekends, and it was accepted by a publisher while she was in the 6th Form, and published just as she arrived at King's.
On gaining her degree in 1963, Susan became book review editor for the Coventry Evening Telegraph. After five years in this post she turned to writing full-time.
Susan married in 1975 and moved to Stratford upon Avon. Her daughter, Jessica, was born in 1977, followed by a premature daughter Imogen in 1984 who died 5 weeks later. After a period of grieving her creative output continued, particularly in non-fiction and plays for radio. She began writing novels again in the early 1980's, with the successful The Woman in Black (1983), a ghost story, which has achieved great success on the stage.
Susan now lives in a farmhouse set in 50 acres of the North Cotswold countryside.

I really enjoyed this book! Don't worry, it is really not that scary. It is eerie for sure. But it is not a horror story, it is really a haunting. I loved all the historical aspects of it. Some people thought it was slow in the beginning but I thought it was interesting. I think you kind of have to like historical fiction in order to really appreciate it.

I thought it was very well written. With its old English language it seemed very authentic. And it actually reminded me of Edgar Allen Poe's writing. Especially when in the book the main character, Arthur, keeps hearing a bump bump, bump bump, bump bump noise inside a locked room, very much like the knocking in The Raven. In fact reading this book makes me want to re-read The Raven.

The descriptions in this book were excellent! The more terrified he seemed in the story, the more "on the edge of my seat" I was - due to the descriptions. The eeriness of the old house was so well described I could really picture it!
"My whole body was trembling, my mouth dry, the palms of my hands sore where I had dug my nails into them as I stood, helplessly, hearing that dreadful sequence of sounds repeated again, as it would be repeated in my head a thousand times forever after." 
"But if I had been afraid at what had happened in this house so far, when I reached the end of the corridor and saw what I did see now, my fear reached a new height, until for a minute I thought I would die of it, was dieing, for I could not conceive of a man's being able to endure such shocks and starts and remain alive, let alone in his right senses."
Does that not make you want to read it? Suspenseful!

Ugh! What a disappointment the movie was! This was just another horror story. It was almost nothing like the book. They took the nice simple eerie haunting and turned it into a horror movie. There were so many things that were changed  it would be easier to tell you what stayed the same. Well there was a guy named Arthur and a woman in black and a child that died in the marsh... and thats about it. There was one part in the book involving a pet dog that was so scary and suspenseful and they did not put it in the movie! I have no idea why, it would have been perfect in the movie.

Well I pretty much thought the movie was terrible and the book was great! If you would like a nice old historical hunting that does not get carried away this is perfect for you.

I bought this book at B&N just to read for my movie month, and now I am giving my copy away!
To enter to win this book - fill out the form below.
* Please US & Canada only.
And please only enter once -  (I go through and delete double entries).

* Winner will be chosen on Nov. 3rd.

* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.
* Leave a comment for an extra entry!!! 


  1. I didn't think the movie was all that bad, but then again I haven't read the book I can't compare....yet!

  2. I didn't think the movie was all that bad, but then again I haven't read the book I can't compare....yet!

  3. Oops...posted twice....sorry!

    1. Hahaha thats ok!
      Yeah I do think reading the book first kinda ruined the movie for me.

  4. I actually saw the movie and liked it. I still haven't read the book. Compared to our other Bibliophile members, yours is the most positive review of this book. I was almost tempted to just return my copy back to the library, but after reading your review, I'm just going to renew it and try it.

    1. I know! I can't believe the other reviews! If you go on Amazon or B&N the reviews are very positive.
      I liked it because it was just a good old fashion ghost story.

    2. OK I had to come back and say some more, LOL.
      The thing is - the movie, even though it was a good horror movie, even if you believe in ghosts (which I do!), would never really happen in real life.
      The book, if you believe in ghosts, could happen in real life. Thats why I l liked it better.
      I thought the movie just got too carried away and should have stuck to the book more.

    3. Hi, its me again!
      Here's another review of the book -

    4. Lol you're too funny.

      Thanks for sharing this blog. I really like she broke up the review. I am now following her.

  5. If I was given a choice between reading any book or watching the horror movie it was turned into I would pick the book as I'm not into horror movies. Isn't it funny how some movies enhance the book and vice versa while other times it is just the opposite? I've loved many books and then hated the movies usually because so much gets left out due to time constraints. But I really hate when the whole premise is changed and you don't recognize anything. What a disappointment that is - and a waste of time and money.

  6. I haven't seen the movie, so can't compare the two - yet the book sounds very good! And that cover ... LOVE that cover! <3
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

  7. I was warned about the changes between the book and the movie ahead of time. I read the book first, thank goodness.

  8. I don't qualify for your giveaway (I am in UK) but thanks for the great review. I saw the film and really enjoyed the sets ad the atmospere but the story was a bit of a let down. Will defnitely give the book a try and make the comparison!

  9. I actually saw the film but didn't make the connection about it originally being a book so I am now more intrigued to read it after your review.


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