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review 2019-02-10 18:52
or "People Susan Hill Has Met"
Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home - Susan Hill

There were things I really liked about this book - the journey through a house full of bookcases, where many of the books Hill owns evoke memories of when and where she read them, or meeting the authors themselves. At times it feels like a who's who, but is enjoyable in spite of that. I have ordered three books on Hill's recommendations and I look forward to reading those soon. I appreciated her thoughts on reading and rereading books to get the most from them - slow reading as a skill to be relearned has much value and appeal.


There were things I liked less - Hill can be somewhat dismissive and derisive of certain writers, politics, social movements, people, books and technology. Many of her arguments seem somewhat circular or vague, and "the authors who I have met" parts got tiresome after a while. Some of the quotes used seemed to add little to the book and the section on "Reading for the Soul" just wasn't compelling, but perhaps that's me being equally dismissive.


Published at eighteen, invited to all the right parties, and mentored by very talented people it sounds as though Susan Hill's life has been rich and full. It was fascinating to get a glimpse of that. All in all I did enjoy the book. It took me years to take it off my shelf and it was worth the wait. 3.5/5*

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review 2018-11-06 03:33
The Woman in Black - audiobook
The Woman In Black - Susan Hill



It was nine-thirty on Christmas Eve.

-first sentence



This is a dark, gothic, ghost story. The narrator, Arthur, recounts his experience at Eel Marsh house with the Woman in Black and how it changed his life forever. The story has haunted him for years and by writing it down, he hopes to be able to forget.


Arthur goes to Eel Marsh house to settle the estate of a reclusive old woman. At first, he tries to find reasonable explanations for the noises coming from the empty marsh. Then he realizes that what he hears is an echo of something that happened years before.


This is a slow moving story that gradually builds suspense and fear. The house is isolated on a marsh that can only be reached at low tide (it reminded me of The Elementals in that sense). As in that story, the isolation makes Arthur's experience even more terrifying. 


The audio is well done and I enjoyed listening. At 4 hours and 33 minutes, it is one of the shorter audiobooks I've listened to, but it didn't exactly fly by. It's a good story, but a bit on the old-fashioned side for me.

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review 2018-07-03 14:51
The Small Hand-Not Scary
The Small Hand - Susan Hill

Honestly I am annoyed that I didn't just wait for this via the library, but since my house is empty of furniture and my bookshelves are wrapped up, I don't want to have a pile of books just sitting around from the library. "The Small Hand" starts off very well and then flounders from there to a very disappointing and confusing ending. I was left with way more questions than answers and kept trying to see if any reviewers had any insight into this book. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any explanations out there regarding the ending, so maybe I will post on Goodreads and see what people say.


An antiquarian book seller named Adam Snow ends up getting lost and finds an abandoned home. Once called the White House, it was famous far and wide for the gardens that the owner had installed. Adam stumbles around and realizes as he is there, that a small cold hand takes his own. Only problem is that there is no one there.  After taking hold of the small hand, Adam is in essence haunted. He starts to find out drips and drabs about the White House and a tragic accident that takes place there. 


I don't know. Adam was intriguing, but Hill doesn't do enough to develop him. I was most disappointed that Hill spends time on Adam looking into a rare book that a friend of his tells him about. We spend way too much time on that than on Adam having a panic attack that almost leads to him drowning himself. 


I felt the most frustrated though when Adam realizes a slim connection to White House and doesn't pursue it. 

When we get to the ending and the reveal it just fell flat. I had a lot of questions and wanted to know the why behind some things. 


If you really want to read this, suggest getting it at a library, not worth buying it via Kindle or Nook. 

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review 2017-12-17 00:00
The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill After finishing and loving [b:The Silent Companions|34600633|The Silent Companions|Laura Purcell|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489571003s/34600633.jpg|55746774]I really wanted to another gothic/period style ghost story to creep me out and when The Woman In Black came up in in my recommendations feed I was excited about the novel after reading the book's blurb.

image: image
What I heard next chilled and horrified me....
The noise of the pony trap grew fainter and then stopped abruptly and away on the marsh was a curious draining, sucking, churning sound, which went on, together with the shrill neighing and whinnying of a horse in panic and then I heard another cry, a shout a terrified sobbing......

A short novel that really should have but didn't pack a punch, it had Most of the elements for the type of ghost story I normally am drawn to, the fog-shrouded house set on the outskirts of a remote English Village where sightings here and there of a ghostly lady all dressed in black.... but unfortunately the story lacked athmoshpere and for this reason it failed to be eerie or anyway creepy for me. The characters were bland and I felt the book a little predictable and repetitive. Having loved [b:The Silent Companions|34600633|The Silent Companions|Laura Purcell|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489571003s/34600633.jpg|55746774] [bc:The Silent Companions|36412620|The Silent Companions|Laura Purcell|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1508003921s/36412620.jpg|55746774]perhaps I was expecting too much from this novel. An ok read but not a book that will cause me any nightmares.
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review 2017-10-14 00:00
The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black - Long Barn Books,Paul Ansdell,Susan Hill Solid ghost story. I enjoyed listening to it as the narrator was very good.
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