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review 2017-07-28 11:48
Printer's Devil Court - Susan Hill

Listened to in audio format.

 

I have listened to all Susan Hill's Simon Serrailier series so I know the quality of her work.  Printers Devils Court is only 1.5 hours long but it has taken me 3 days to listen and I nearly gave up listening.

 

This book is definitely a slow burner and the story did not start for me until part 3.  I think the story really began years later when Hugh returned to London to visit his stepson.

 

Printer Devils Court was a decent novella, maybe if the story was longer we could of found out more about fellow doctors Walter and Rafe.

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review 2016-02-20 00:00
The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill,John Lawrence Well, this one was a little tedious for me. Maybe I wasn't in the mood. I'm not sure how it could read fast and slow at the same time, but it did. I think it could have used a little more to it. Not horrible, but just a little better than ok. 2+ Stars.
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review 2016-02-02 00:00
The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill,John Lawrence I gave this story 4.5 stars. However I had to round it up on Goodreads to 5 stars.

So I don't know if I am rating this favorable because the last two books I finished made me want to scream and kick something or not. For the most part I loved the story until we got to the subpar ending which didn't do much for me. And when we do get to the ending of the tale, the story just comes to a flat stop which made me think I was missing some pages from the book.

Told in the first person, readers "meet" Arthur Kipps. We find that Arthur is an older man and is enjoying having his stepchildren home for Christmas. For some reason though Arthur feels unsettled. Eventually returning to his family there is a call for ghost stories which infuriates Arthur and he takes himself outside. He decides to write down a "real" ghost story for his wife in order to finally unburden himself. We then flash back to when Arthur was a young solicitor working in London when he was dispatched to deal with Mrs. Alice Drablow's estate. Attending the funeral, Arthur notices a woman in black. And unfortunately for Arthur, she notices him too.

I thought that Arthur was a good protagonist for this story. I felt myself sympathetic and also afraid for him throughout the story. What gets you is that though Arthur sees the things that he does and feels them too, he still wants to figure out a way to logically explain it and/or end it.

There are several other people in this story and Hill doesn't focus too much on them besides how Arthur perceives them until we get almost to the end and we have Arthur making a life long friend with one of the town inhabitants, Samuel Daily.

I thought the writing was tone perfect. Hill manages to describe things to such a great extent that you feel like you are right there. The first chapter in the book I really enjoyed because it really did make me think I was somewhere in a large country house in England smelling the winter air and looking at the moon and stars. When Arthur travels to Crythin Gifford it feels ominous and threatening based on what Arthur tells us people's reactions are to him. What is sad is how pulled to Alice Drablow's home (Eel Marsh House) he felt and how initially he was charmed by the house and thought how wonderful it would be to live there. What is funny is that as a reader, based on the description I would have gotten the heck out of there. Pronto.

description

The flow of the story really does work up until almost the end. Then the story comes apart a bit and the flow never really improves after that. I think that we just had a ridiculous missing time segment that didn't make a whole lot of sense and all of a sudden Arthur changes from wanting to figure out the woman in black, to deciding the heck with it.

I loved the settings of Crythin Gifford and Eel Marsh House. Eel Marsh House especially had me shuddering slightly based on how Hill describes it and how foolish we know that Arthur is for staying on though anyone with any sense would have high tailed it out of there.

description

The ending though like I said earlier was a disappointment. There didn't seem to be enough evil there for the woman in black. I liked everything up until the final reveal and I said to myself really? It just was missing that last little bit of oomph. I don't need every book to read like a Stephen King novel. But I was a disappointed with who was the woman in black and what led her to her current state.
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review 2016-01-19 15:27
Gentleman and Ladies by Susan Hill
Gentleman and Ladies - Susan Hill

 



http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sw542

Description: Faith Lavender's funeral and the arrival of a stranger upsets the balance of Haverstock. Undercurrents of fierce emotion reach the surface, while the tensions rise and the ladies of Haverstock find their actions motivated by mutual suspicion and fear. By the author of Strange Meeting.

1/5: The funeral of Faith Lavender, spinster of the parish, is attended by her family and friends and by one stranger - a man named Hubert Gaily, who never met Faith in his life...

2/5: Friendship blossoms at the village laundrette, but will Ma Gaily approve?

3/5: The villagers of Haverstock look forward to the annual fete and the Gailys make an impression.

4/5: Storms break and accidents happen, but can the ladies of Haverstock cope with change?

5/5: Friendship and family ties are tested as the villagers of Haverstock hear the sound of wedding bells

Patricia Hayes as Eleanor Thorne
Gwen Watford as Dorothea Shottery
Stephanie Cole as Alida Thorne
Sian Phillips as Isabel Lavender.

3* The Woman in Black
TR The Small Hand: A Ghost Story
MB Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading
2* The Mist in the Mirror
CR Gentleman and Ladies
2* A Kind Man
2* The Beacon
3* The Magic Apple Tree: A Country Year
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review 2016-01-06 18:05
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill

 

I was very disappointed with this book. It's much shorter than I thought it was going to be, for one. That's my fault for not checking to see how many pages it was.

 

I found the prose to be overly descriptive. I get it, the house is located in a marsh by the sea. I get it that there is fog. I get it that the only road to the house is underwater during high tide. Enough already, where is the woman? Even when the woman shows up, the story continues to be boring.

 

I did not find this book to be even remotely scary. There were a couple of chilling scenes and that was about it. If you are looking for a good scare, look somewhere else.

 

 

*I'm still finding some books and reviews that did not import over to BL from Goodreads. When I come across them, I add them here.*

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