Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Small Hand and Dolly

The best way to describe Susan Hill’s novellas The Small Hand and Dolly is moody. Hill does an excellent job of creating an unsettling mood in both stories. In one, a rare book seller is haunted by the feel of an invisible, small hand in his. In the second, two cousins are haunted by a childhood experience with a porcelain doll. As I read the stories, I could imagine them as chilling movies that would make the audience edgy with suspense.

 Unfortunately, mood is not enough. The stories tend to ramble and seem filled with unnecessary detail. Where the plots are going is often unclear, and the journey is more tedious than pleasurable. The novellas simply are not page turners, and I found myself plodding through them out of a sense of obligation rather than enjoyment.

No comments: