A gothic mystery to haunt your heart.
“I doubt if the woman in black can have any animosity towards me.”
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.
This supernatural, horror novella by Susan Hill has adapted to film and broadway shows – the latter which I will be lucky enough to experience at the Florida Repertory Theatre this month.
Set in early 1900s England, this gothic mystery is narrated by protagonist Arthur Kipps. The young solicitor must travel to a small town in a remote part of England to attend the funeral of Alice Drablow, a former client. It is at Eel Marsh House that Kipps encounters a ghost — the woman in black. A local man tells Kipps that the woman in black is Jennet, Drablow’s dead sister, and that every time she appears to someone, a child dies.
The narrative is atmospheric and haunting, conjuring up the brooding nature of the landscape, the eeriness of misty weather and Kipp’s anxiety as he moves through the house: “…the combination of the peculiar, isolate place and the sudden appearance of the woman and the dreadfulness of her expression began to fill me with fear…”
Lovers of moody and unsettling backdrops and plots, such as in Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, or Daphne du Maurier’s, Rebecca, will enjoy being immersed in this disquieting story.
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