Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Pages: 448
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "What did she see? It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?




Dr. Anna Fox used to be a well-respected child psychologist, but now she is home bound and suffering from agoraphobia. She spends her days helping others online who suffer from the same issues, all while drinking too much wine, popping too many pills, watching old movies, and spying on her neighbors.  Her townhouse faces her neighbors' houses, so she is given a front-row seat to just about everyone's business.  To complicate matters further, her husband and daughter have moved out, but we aren't sure why. Anna wasn't always this way though. This is all thanks to an accident she had and slowly readers learn more about why her husband has moved out and what exactly happened to her.  Slowly we put together the pieces of the puzzle all while learning more and more about her neighbors. One day Anna spies on her neighbors, hears a blood-curdling scream and witnesses what she believes is a major crime at her new neighbors, the Russells.  But who is going to believe her, especially with the amount of alcohol she drinks? A.J Finn's debut, The Woman in the Window, is an edge of of your seat read that is reminiscent of some of the other psychological thrillers I've read int the past, but nonetheless, it's an entertaining ride.

I wanted to like Anna, I did, but she is such a hot mess in The Woman in the Window. She's the quintessential unreliable narrator that we often see in psychological thrillers. You know the type....self-medicating, drinking too much, bored, suffering from some type of post-traumatic stress, and has a mess of a life. Can we even believe her version of reality? Should we? Although she annoyed the heck out of me with her pill-popping and excessive drinking, I was still really interested in her. What happened to her to make her not leave her house for months, suffer panic attacks when she tries, and pretty much become one of her patients? I really wanted to understand what she went through and why not only her life fell apart, but her marriage too.


The Woman in the Window felt really, really familiar in that it possesses some of the same qualities that Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train had, but I didn't let that bother me too much. Once I got past some of the similarities, I was able to just enjoy the thrilling ride.  The thing that sets The Woman in the Window apart from the others is its Hitchcock/film noir vibe. Anna is a classic film buff who likes the old thrillers and is watching and referring to them constantly, so the book took on that kind of vibe also, which I really enjoyed. Plus, there is a plot twist that I didn't see coming, so that was an unexpected surprise. I also didn't expect so much action during the second half of the novel. It definitely held my interest and kept me guessing.


From what I hear, The Woman in the Window has already sold the screen rights and plans to turn it into a movie are underway. While I don't think it's as compelling as Gone Girl, I still think as far as psychological thrillers go, it was decent and entertaining. If you love curling up with a thriller in the winter, definitely give this one a try.



8 comments:

  1. I never read The Girl on the Train but I watched the movie and I can definitely see some similarities plotwise. I also thought of the movie Rear Window. I may have to give this a try sometime (though I don't like unreliable narrators) but I bet it has lots of holds at the library. Nice review!

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    1. Yes, there are some major similarities to Girl on the Train - but this one has more of a Hitchcock/film noir vibe. I think it will translate to the big screen well though. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

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  2. I just finished this one yeaterday and liked it. I also didn't see that plot twist coming- I thought it was quite chilling. and that final confrontation was quite action packed- more so than I would have expected. I agree with you about the protagonist though- good grief, stop drinking woman! lol it cracked me up she practically had wine delivered by the case! I did like the noir/ classic movie vibe though.

    Nice review!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it, Greg! I know! That plot twist took me by surprise and I agree, that final confrontation was CRAZY intense. It definitely had me on the edge of my seat. Exactly! I felt like she needed to stop drinking and figure things out. I liked the Hitchcock/film noir vibe as well. I'm glad we agree, Greg! Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. I just finished reading this one and enjoyed it - though I found it pretty predicable overall. I can't believe how much wine Anna drank throughout this book! That said, I figured out early on how she came to be as she was, so I did feel sorry for her and I understood why she was such a mess. Good - but definitely no Gone Girl!

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    1. Yes, it was definitely predictable. Anna took wino to a whole new level. For real. I knew you would figure out some of her secrets early on - you are so much better at that than I am! I agree...good, but not Gone Girl level good. Not much is though, right? Thanks for visiting, Leanna!

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  4. The Kind Worth Killing is the only book that has really come close to Gone Girl for me. I can't remember if you read that one but it is good and twisty!

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    1. I haven't, but I will have to check it out, especially since you recommend it!

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