Oliver's mentor Theo narrates the story of his possession of a Venetian painting. The said painting is of a Venetian Carnival which seems to have a disturbing effect on its surroundings and possessor. Theo's narration takes us into the narration of a very old lady giving the story, story within a story within a story effect sometimes like our nightmares. I didn't actually feel much for the old lady, until she reached the story of her son where the cruelty of the other lady was very evident.
The Story is not very scary, but then i didn't read it in the night. I am glad there is no oil painting in my house. I will definitely remember this story when I visit Venice. The ending is not unexpected but Hill plays a nice little trick.
This story of possession will stay with me for long. We all have heard or seen a beautiful painting, an image that stays with us forever. This is a haunting of the real kind. Interesting novella, Susan Hill creates quite an atmosphere and can be read in one setting.