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.