When I flew to NYC two weeks ago, I packed the boyfriend’s kindle because I wanted to pack light for the trip. I was debating which eBook I wanted to read before settling on The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. I finished reading this book yesterday on my lunch hour and I liked the book, but I wasn’t blown away by the story.
The Woman in the Window begins with introducing the reader to Dr. Anna Fox. She’s a psychologist who adores old black & white movies, drinks plenty of merlot and is an expert at playing chess. Additionally she’s agoraphobic meaning she has a huge fear of leaving her house. She’s trapped within the walls of her home due to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) based on a horrific event in her life. This is kept secret from readers until the middle of the book. Being confined in her home, Anna develops an obsession with spying on her neighbors.
As she spies on the neighbors, she befriends Jane Russell who lives in the house next door with her husband Alistair and son Ethan. One night she looks into the Russell’s window and sees Jane Russell being stabbed. Anna calls the police, but they don’t take her seriously with her mental illness and drinking problem. Anna insists there was a crime taking place, but then Jane Russell walks into the room only it’s not the Jane Russell Anna met. Anna and the police start to question what is real. Is Anna hallucinating her version of events because of the medication she’s on? Did she actually meet Jane Russell or did she invent the whole thing? What happened to Anna causing her agoraphobia? I’m not going to provide spoilers in this post, but some of the answers to these questions will be surprising.
One point I wanted to make about this book is how annoying it is to read about Anna’s drinking. For every chapter, the author writes a paragraph about Anna pouring wine or she finished a bottle of merlot or she’s drunk walking around her house. I feel in a psychological thriller it’s a common theme for the female character to have a drinking problem. I’m pretty sure Girl on a Train had themes of this as well.
My final thought with this book is how some paragraphs aren’t necessary. For example, Anna sleeps with her tenant, David who lives in her basement. I don’t care who Anna sleeps with, but it’s odd because there’s no built up chemistry between the two characters. The publisher could have said “there needs to be more sex in this book” so the author added a sex scene, that’s how random this scene was.
The Woman in the Window is a quick read with a bit of a shocking twist at the end. However, I will say most of the other “reveals” in this book I did predict which is fine, but slightly unsatisfying. I would recommend this book especially if you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn because this reads similar to how she writes. If you have read the book, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.