2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Black Sheep (Kindle Edition)
I have a love-hate relationship with Susan Hill, some things she writes I admire, while the others are read and forgotten. "The Black Sheep" literally blew my mind, today, on the tube, where I finished it. I literally was shaking and had to compose myself.
The power of Susan Hill's writing is brilliant. It's such a short novella, and, in the beginning I was thinking how Susan Hill's publishers should really wait for a few of those to be finished and then put in a book of short stories. Yet, when I was reaching the end, I realised how stand-alone brilliant the book was, it certainly deserved its own cover.
I am not going to summarise the plot, the book is quite short and in the prose is succinct and crisp. I loved the grim play with names - Paradise street and the burning fire of the Hell (the pit at the bottom of the Paradise). I loved the stories of lives of half a dozen of people, so brisk yet so deep and forever intervened with one another. The suffocating life of a tight knit community, the fresh air at the top of the hill, the son who escaped, and the other son, who also escaped, albeit with the blow to his head.
Be warned: the book is quite depressing. Yet quite powerful. The prose is absorbing and beautiful. "Black Sheep" is a perfectly formed novella which might leave you shocked and shaken, like it did with me.