I bought The Woman in Black at the Red Cross shop a few days ago for £1.50. I saw the film a few months ago and was very impressed. A proper, scary, edge-of-your-seat ghost story. You can read my review here.
I bought the book to see how different it is from the film, and to test a theory about the ending. There are two important and powerful women in the story – The Woman in White, Kipps’ dead wife who he mourns deeply, and the Woman in Black. You would think that by discovering and burying the body of her son, Kipps had laid the curse. Apparently not. She appears at the railway station, lures his son onto the track, and both Kipps and his son die in the rescue attempt. There’s gratitude for you!
My theory is that this an act of mercy, contingent on Kipps offering his own life to save his son. Both women are on the same side of Death, and have much more in common with each other than the living. Kipps is miserable in his earthly life. The Woman in Black re-unites the family in eternal life, putting her actions in a completely different light, in collusion with the Woman in White.
I’m curious to see if the book is more explicit than the film.