Monday, 12 February 2018

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

Book: The Woman in the Window 

Author: A.J. Finn

Pages: 448

Read on: Kindle 

Read in: 4 hours or so 

Plot Summary: 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?

Things I Liked: 
  • A very interesting premise. A highly anticipated debut. This book has/ has been having so much buzz on social media! So, obviously, after reading the premise, I thought why not pick it up and see if it is worth the hype. The premise reads a lot like Hitchcock's cult classic Rear Window's- a woman (it was a man in the movie) is housebound and witnesses something she is not entirely sure is real. No one believes her because she is an agoraphobe, who has not left her house in ten months, and is also abusing some pretty strong psychotropic drugs and such. So, what did she see? Was it real? How will she find out? If she does, what is it going to cost her? 
  • I liked the world building in this book. Anna's world- as seen through the lens of her DSLR, out of her window- the world of an agoraphobic woman. The author has done a stellar job building Anna's world- her anxiety at the thought of the outdoors, her gradual descent into despair and madness, her limited social interactions on an online message board for fellow agoraphobes, her tendency to get drunk day and night, her abuse of medication and just, overall, her low will to live. Anna, we are told, was in a traumatic accident ten months ago, along with her husband and young daughter, who no longer live with her. We get to see how Anna spends her day spying on her neighbours with the help of a zoom lens on her DSLR and that's how she ends up spying on the new neighbours- the Russell family.
  • The Russell family is quite interesting! Husband, wife and only son. The husband seems overbearing and controlling, the wife's body language seems submissive from a  distance but in person, she is much more sassy and has quite a personality. The son seems lonely- home schooled, sad, emotional. In spite of her resolution to stay disconnected from people, Anna finds herself drawn to this family. It is whilst watching this family that Anna witnesses the event that marks a huge change in her cloistered life. 
  • The way in which Anna goes about finding the truth about what she saw is quite interesting. Every step she takes towards learning about the truth, results in her seeming more and more like a crazy woman but she doesn't give up. 
  • The book is very well written and fast-paced. The almost 450 pages go by super quick and you never get bored. There are no unnecessary details and there are no wasteful chapters that don't matter to the narrative. 

Things I Didn't Like: 
  • There are two 'reveals' or 'twists' in the book and they are fairly easy to guess. The author has dropped a generous amount of breadcrumbs and any avid reader of the genre can easily guess both these twists that everyone is calling 'shocking' or whatever! *eyeroll* But, anyway, since I liked the rest of the book so much, I am willing to forgive the author for the ample breadcrumbs! 

Rating: 4/5 
This is a really interesting, fast-paced psychological thriller that is actually a psychological thriller! :) Go read it! You won't regret it! 

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