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A Kind Man

Susan Hill

Average Review Rating Average Rating 6/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Vintage

Published : 2010

Copyright : Susan Hill 2011

ISBN-10 : PB 0-09-955544-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-09-955544-5

Publisher's Write-Up

Tommy Carr was a kind man; Eve had been able to tell that after half an hour of knowing him. There had never been a day when he had not shown her some small kindness.

The birth of a daughter, Jeannie Eliza, crowns the young couple's happiness - just as her shockingly early death casts them low. But they do not need to talk about Jeannie because she remains with them, and their love does not change.

In some ways it is no wonder that one of them falls ill, for grief takes its toll, and one Christmas even Eve's sister Miriam is remarking that Tommy looks unwell, a shadow of his former self, with the look of death upon him.

But what happens next is entirely unexpected, not least for the kind man.

'It has a power beyond its pages; a haunting resonance between each stark sentence that stayed with me ... The delicate balance between kindness and bitterness, hope and despair, a dying man and a dying town, are almost unbearably poignant.'

The Independent on Sunday

'Concisely captures primal emotions and offers astonishing transformations... Movingly perceptive.'

The Sunday Times

'Hill's writing here is superb, conveying emotion and pain in the sparest of prose...a comforting keenly moving tale of endurance and the eternal springs of friendship and love.'

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (300917) Rating (6/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 6/10

Susan Hill is best known for her ghost stories, such as The Woman in Black, but A Kind Man contains the same level of writing, and haunting pathos. Set in the past, Tommy Carr and his wife Eve have a very happy marriage, but the death of their young daughter changes things between them, and as guilt, and sadness become increasingly etched on Tommy’s face, it is obvious that he is not long for the world.

But it is at this point that Tommy’s luck changes, and he becomes well, and healthy again, but he has more than this, he also has healing powers. Soon, people are coming to him, seeking a cure, he angers the Doctor, and as his fame spreads, he spends more and more time away from Eve. He does not know where his gift has come from, but he feels that he has to use it to the best advantage.

Soon, though he is offered money to cure people, enough to set him up in a new home, and it is at this point that the story takes on even more tragedy, for the healing powers leave him, and soon he himself is ill, and no healing powers can save him.

At just over 200 pages, A Kind Man is an easy read, strong on characters, detail and pathos, as well as humanity. It blends well elements of Magic Realism and tragedy, the supernatural, and humanity, and if you are looking for a very written tale, then this could be the book for you.
Ben Macnair (30th September 2017)

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