The small hand by

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It was a little before nine o'clock, the sun was setting into a bank of smoky violet cloud and I had lost my way.
–Susan Hill - The small hand: a ghost story - c. 2010 - pg.1

A ghost story
Read for the RIP V Challenge

Coming home one evening from meeting with a client, rare books dealer Adam Snow takes a wrong turn and ends up outside a derelict Edwardian house. For some strange reason he is drawn to this building and its wilderness of gardens and finds himself wandering through the overgrown weeds. And, standing all alone, he feels the strangest of sensations. A small hand, in his. As though he were a father taking hold of a son’s hand. But he is not a father. And there is no child.

The small hand - Susan Hill
The small hand - Susan Hill
This was a total impulse purchase. I just liked the look of the cover and I knew the author’s name. That combined with the 3 for 2 offer was enough.

It is a slight book. Less than 200 pages, but it is well worth the read. Hill tells the story in a very old-fashioned sort of way. One of the characters mentions The Turn of the Screw and this book echoes that gothic feel. Perfect for the RIP challenge. I only wish I’d read it curled up by the fire instead of on a delayed train. Still, it kept me entertained, so I won’t complain.

I want to say that it this is told in a very sparse style, but I think that may be a little off-putting, so I’m adding this caveat. I think this style suits this book perfectly. And I don’t want you to think that it isn’t a descriptive book, because it has some wonderful passages describing the abandoned White House and an isolated French monastery.

And as the story develops we gradually learn more about our narrator and the sparseness of his life, so it is very fitting :)

Other reviews: Beauty is a sleeping cat ; Savidge Reads ; The Book bag ; Gaskella

Post Author: Fence

14 thoughts on “The small hand


    (14 October 2010 - 11:53 pm)

    Sounds like a scary story that I would enjoy!
    Kathleen´s last blog post ..Commentary – Perfection by Julie Metz


      (15 October 2010 - 9:17 pm)

      Perfect for this time of year Kathleen


    (15 October 2010 - 9:58 am)

    I quite like the sound of this. I've recently read and enjoyed The Woman in Black, so I've been on the lookout for more Susan Hill.
    Nymeth´s last blog post ..North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell


      (15 October 2010 - 9:18 pm)

      I'll look forward to reading your review at some point so :)


    (15 October 2010 - 12:39 pm)

    I just recently finished The Woman in Black and loved it. So I'm up for more spooky tales by Susan Hill. Next time I'll make sure I read it when it's dark to get the maximum effect!
    sakura´s last blog post ..The Woman in Black by Susan Hill


      (15 October 2010 - 9:20 pm)

      I must try The Woman in Black, maybe I'll grab it at the library.


    (18 October 2010 - 3:57 pm)

    I've been meaning to read something by Susan Hill for awhile, and as you say I like the look of this ones cover! Also like the premise and a main character who is a rare books dealer…and sparse writing is really appealing to me! I'll keep and eye out for it. Thanks for the review!


      (21 October 2010 - 7:22 pm)

      :) Well his job doesn't come into the book a whole lot, but it is still a nice little touch I though.


    (23 October 2010 - 8:16 pm)

    I would probably pick this up just because of the cover, too. I have heard of the author before, but never read her.
    Kailana´s last blog post ..Soulless An Alexia Tarabotti Novel- Book 1 by Gail Carriger


      (23 October 2010 - 9:08 pm)

      This is the first by her that I've read, but I hope to pick up The Woman in Black soon, it is supposed to be similar in style/writing.

    […] Here’s another review: Susan Hated Literature […]


    (24 October 2010 - 1:26 pm)

    Thanks for passing on my blog. I don't think yours was the review I read. The cover is soo nice. And the book is very, very good.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Daniel Glattauer- Love Virtually 2011 aka Gut gegen Nordwind 2006 A German Novel in E-Mails


      (24 October 2010 - 6:49 pm)

      It really is. :)

    The woman in black | Susan Hated Literature

    (4 February 2011 - 10:51 pm)

    […] first Susan Hill book I read was The Small Hand and there is a similar feel to this novel. It is a short book, very evocative and atmospheric, […]

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