Aug 11th, 2011 by Annie
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
|The Woman in Black: A Ghost Storyby Susan Hill, set during the early 1900′s, is a Gothic haunting whose ghost is driven by fury and bent on vengeance.Lawyer Arthur Kipps has retired to the country with his second wife. Arthur, his wife and her children, now grown, are gathered around a fire on Christmas Eve taking turns telling ghost stories. But at Arthur’s turn, he becomes enraged and storms away from the group — for Arthur knows a real ghost story. A story so horrible he cannot speak of it.|
Book Club Ideas
Young lawyer Arthur is sent to Crythin Griffod to attend to the affairs of recently deceased elderly widow, Alice Drablow. It is during her funeral that Arthur first encounters the woman in black. The Woman in Black is oozing in dark atmosphere. Turn the lights down low and decorate in black. There are so many decorations available.
Must wear black!
I recommend Music of the Gothic Era from The Early Music Consort Of London, conducted by David Munrow. This collection of music is from the 13th and 14th century, but adds the right sounds to the feel to the atmosphere for The Woman in Black book club gathering.
|Listen to samples from Music of the Gothic Era|
Book Club Menu
In keeping with the black theme, I was able to find some great “black” dishes to prepare for my book club party menu.
Black Rum Spice Cake served with strong black tea or coffee (you’ll understand why when you check out this recipe).
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.83 stars (1079 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4.4 stars (57 ratings)|
|LibraryThing: 3.9 stars (263 ratings)|
|My Rating: 4.5 stars I lost good sleep over this little book and still get the shivers just thinking about it!|
- Before beginning discussion on The Woman in Black, have everyone share their favorite ghost story.
- Arthur prided himself on being sensible and very level headed and returned to Eel Marsh House even when experiencing several unsettling situations. Do you think Arthur would have been able to end the furies he set in motion if he had not returned to Eel Marsh House, or do you think he was already too inextricably involved? Explain.
- Arthur’s retelling of his experiences at Eel Marsh House are told in great clinical detail in a “lawyerly” fashion. What did you think about the contrast between Arthur’s style and the horror unfolding?
- What do you think happened to Mrs. Drablow’s husband and what kept Mrs. Drablow at Eel Marsh House?
- Discuss Spider’s role in the novel.
Purchase The Woman in Black at your favorite bookseller
|British Author Susan Hill was born in Scarborough 1942 and received an English degree from Kings College London. She has written numerous works of fiction and non-fiction. She received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971 for I’m the King of the Castle and the Whitbread Award for The Bird of Night.|
Other Works by Susan Hill and Recommended Reading
Personal Insights, Favorite Quotes, etc…
The Woman in Black was been adapted for the stage in 1987 by Stephen Mallatratt and just celebrated its 9000th performance on June 29, 2011. Click thewomaninblack.com for the official website of theatrical production in London’s West End. The Woman in Black has also been adapted for a 1989 TV movie produced by television writer Nigel Kneale, a BBC Radio broadcast in 1993 and again in 2004, and a movie set for release in 2012, starring a very grown up Daniel Radcliff and directed by James Watkins.
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