It seems only fitting that as Carl announces his RIP VII challenge (more of that in a future post) I finally get around to collecting my thoughts on one of two ghost stories I read during April’s Readathon.
The Small Hand by Susan Hill is the tale of Adam Snow who is a bookseller specialising in hunting down antiquarian volumes for a mostly wealthy clientele. On return from a visit to one of his clients he gets lost on a country road and finds himself confronted with a decaying mansion with which he becomes totally fascinated. He walks up to the entrance and as he stands there he feels a small hand slipping into his own, just as if a child was holding on to him.
He convinces himself that he has imagined the whole thing (as you do) but as he goes about his daily business he starts to experience panic attacks and nightmares, and on occasion the small hand returns, even when he thought himself to be safe on a trip abroad. Needless to say Adam decides that he needs to get to the bottom of this mystery and heads back to the house….
This was a lovely atmospherically ghostly read and benefitted (as all the Readathon books did) from being devoured in one sitting. For some reason once I’d finished it I kept on getting it confused in my mind with The Winter Ghost, which is absurd really as they share little in common apart from being set (partially in this case) in France and having an air of melancholy and unfinished business (which you always get with a ghost story, let’s face it).
The Small Hand is beautifully written and rather sad and I enjoyed it very much.
This was my fifth Readathon read.