Format: Paperback (borrowed from library)
Published: 26th September 2013
Publisher: Profile Books
Score: 2 out of 5
The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward, are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper. At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward’s equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life-destroying consequences for everyone.
This is the first Susan Hill novel that I have read. I picked it up on a whim from the library, after the cover drew me in. I thought it looked creepy and slightly spooky, a good ghost story – unfortunately I was rather disappointed.
The story was okay. I ‘get’ what the author was trying to achieve – a spooky, somewhat gothic novella. Unfortunately this meant the book had little character and plot development. The two main characters – Leonora and Edward, are extremely one dimensional and I struggled to connect with either of them.
I felt as thought the storyline was rushed, it seemed like the author had lots to get through in a short amount of time, the ending was rather flat for me. I was left feeling a little confused and wondering what had actually happened.
The description was vivid and the author used lots of imagery, this was certainly a bonus for this short story. Overall, for me it lacked action and adventure, it didn’t give me that suspense and eeriness that I had hoped for.
I will possibly read ‘Woman in Black’ purely because I have watched the film, although I will not be rushing out to get it any time soon.