October 27, 2011

Book Review: The Small Hand by Susan Hill!

This is how it's
done, people!
Back to ghost stories and few do it better than the English. I bought this book once in Lisbon's FNAC store and it has been sitting on my book shelf for some time already. After I finished a popular science book that was frankly disappointing, I treated myself to this one.

I was sorry I came to the end.

'The Small Hand' by celebrated author Susan Hill opens on the night when antiques dealer Adam Snow gets lost in the English countryside and finds a large, decrepit house. Staring at it and walking around it's garden he feels the strange sensation of a small hand slipping in his. Afterwards he is plagued by overwhelming urges to throw himself in harm's way, something his brother also experienced during his mental breakdown. He therefore turns to his brother for help and finds out the horrible truth about the house and it's dramatic past.

What is there to say? The author has been lauded and praised already! All I can say is that this is a must read for anyone serious about writing. On the strength of a simple sensation the author weaves a story of great suspense. She doesn't linger in flowery descriptions, but simply (and very elegantly) tells the story. The style evokes the atmosphere of 19th century British literature, but the events are very modern. It's a testament that brooding, atmospheric ghost stories can still happen today.

All I can say is: this is how it's done, people!

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