I had heard of Susan Hill before - as the spooky author of The Woman in Black, which has hovered on the edge of my periphery for a while - but had yet to pick up any of her books.
This one was recommended and lent to me by my mum, as a quiet, beautiful novel that - as a writer myself - I would appreciate.
Straight away, I found the writing style lyrical and soothing in it's sadness, and I wanted to learn more about Ruth and Ben and their lives. Given the subject matter (the blurb tells you that Ruth is very young and recently widowed) I unexpectedly felt uplifted and almost comforted by the story.
I was drawn into Ruth's thoughts and felt like I moved through the story with her, and yet it didn't feel morbid or melancholic. It felt real and calm, while somehow, at times, feeling like Ruth was underwater and drowning in her memories. This book is emotive, eloquent and wonderfully written, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Published originally by Hamish Hamilton in 1973, this book has made me keen to read more work from Susan Hill