As I began to read The Woman in the Window, the thought ran through my mind that I would drive Anna Fox nuts. You see, I lived next door to a Peeping Tom as I was growing up, so I learned at a very early age to close the curtains once the sun goes down. You want to see something interesting? Move along down the street because you're not going to find it at this house!
As I read a little further, another thought crossed my mind. Why am I reading this book when Anna Fox is the type of character I don't like? I have few hot buttons when it comes to reading, but characters who drink to excess is one of them. Anna literally spends her days swilling wine and gobbling pills-- most of which her doctor has told her expressly not to take with alcohol. But I couldn't stop reading. In fact, I found myself reading faster, and I think I know why.
A.J. Finn made Anna Fox a compelling, sympathetic, "train wreck" of a character. The sort of character that you know something bad is going to happen to, and you just have to keep reading to find out what that bad thing is and if she's going to survive it.
The second thing that had my eyeballs glued to the page was the way the story unfolded. Finn does an absolutely marvelous job of weaving old movies like "Gaslight" and references to such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie into his story. Moreover, he does it in such a way that the end result's not a slavish imitation but something that keeps the gears whirring in your head while you smile, snuggle down deeper into your chair, and keep on reading.
There are two big secrets in The Woman in the Window. How did I do in uncovering them? I figured out one and could kick myself for not deducing the other. If you're in the mood for a story that has more twists and turns than San Francisco's Lombard Street, you really should get your hands on a copy of A.J. Finn's book. It's a good'un.
This book had a slow start and it was not until midway that it finally picked up but it really went gangbusters after that. It is a quick read because of the writing style. Most of the book is written like a screen play dialogue. The main character is unlikeable and flawed. At times you get frustrated with her and at other times you feel sorry for her when nobody believes her story. The plot was very interesting and kept the pages turning. The twists towards the end were great and I was very much surprised a the ending. I liked the all the old-time noir crime thrillers that were mentioned throughout as the main character was also a movie buff. I would highly recommend this book to those who like psychological thrillers.
Gosh, maybe it is because I am 63 and have read a lot of books and seen a lot of movies that I am not so easily impressed, but this book was just not good to me. Maybe all the good reviews are coming from the 18 to 25 year group who are still gaining life experiences. It seems to me that so many of the new popular books are just flat, boring, forgettable and disappointing. I find myself reading older books over again to get my reading enjoyment. It took me three weeks of laying this down and picking it back up and quite a bit of skimming to get to the finish. I felt I had read this same story many times before and seen this plot as a movie at least a dozen times before. I did not think the writing was good at all. Sometimes beautiful writing can carry a weaker book, but this was just a mess to me and nothing new.
This book was a real page turner in the second half. First half, I was annoyed that an educated mind would waste her life on wine and prescription drugs, but once I understood the trauma she had suffered, it was more believable.
Dr Anna Fox is an agoraphobic, living alone in a NYC brownstone. Her only contacts are her shrink and physical therapist, plus a few groups online that she plays chess with and another where she gives advice.
She sees a woman murdered through her window but due to her drinking and pill taking, no one believes her. I won't spoil it for you, just read this psycho thriller for yourself!
Have to say, I haven' t stayed up reading till 345A in many years, that's how intriguing this book was for me.
Favorite line: 'I work my eyelids open, like rusty garage doors.'
This book had me turning pages at a rapid speed. It is an easy read but also disturbing. There were quite a few twists and turns and at one point I was scared. I rarely get that feeling from a book. I do not read this type of book very often which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. I think anyone who reads this type a lot will not find anything new and could be disappointed. I did figure out one of the twists early on because the same twist was used in a book I read last year but all in all, I enjoyed it a lot!
At first I didn't think this was a mystery/thriller. A good portion of the story is about a troubled woman who has experienced major trauma, suffering from agoraphobia. Ultimately through some well placed twists, it becomes suspenseful and adds some mystery in the story. A good page-turner.
This is a must-read for everyone who enjoys cleverly-crafted suspense. It is also an homage to black and white movie thrillers, particularly Rear Window.
Anna Fox, a child psychologist, is agoraphobic, alcoholic and a prescription drug abuser. Her only contacts with the outside world are visits from her therapists for physical and psychological damage. Her days are spent perusing her neighbors' activities while drinking large quantities of wine and watching vintage movies. Her interest is piqued when the Russell family moves in across the street, and she enjoys a rare visit from the Russell son and his mother. Anna also has a male tenant who lives in the basement of her home and helps with occasional home maintenance.
The mystery surrounding Anna's self-imposed exile is slowly revealed through online discussions with other agoraphobes seeking her insight as a psychologist. The tension slowly builds when Anna, an unreliable witness based on her alcoholism, observes an act of violence that propels her into the outside world.
This is a remarkably engaging book with a conclusion that I didn't anticipate. It is worth the hype it has received, and would be a movie reminiscent of Hitchcock's best.
I really enjoyed this book. When I read the the dust cover and it said it was diabolically gripping, I was intrigued. As I was reading I thought to myself "this isn't really that gripping and how is it even close to diabolical? It was a really good story, I felt for all the characters, I wanted to know how she found herself in the grips of crippling agoraphobia but not really gripping....well....I was wrong. A.J. Finn gets you to forget that you are reading a thriller and suddenly you are in the midst of a murder mystery, or are you? Was it even real? She does have mental illness and drinks way too much and the pills, oh, the pills. Who can you believe? After you read the book, do yourself a solid and watch some of A.J. Finns interviews. He is a riot and so personable. I can't wait for him to write another book.
Else S. reviewed The Woman in the Window: A Novel on
Extremely well written. It takes place in New York City's Harlem section which, when I lived in New York City many years ago, was a dangerous slum of what was once glamorous buildings. The book did not mention that it has been recently restored to multi-million dollar residences.
Anna Fox is living in her home in New York. She is unable to venture outside. She takes her medications, drinks her wine, watches old movies, and watches her neighbors. She is suffering from agoraphobia. She talks to her husband and her daughter, her mental therapist, her physical therapist, and online friends.
She practices her psychiatrist doctorate with people online, she plays chess online, and watches her neighbors. Especially the newest neighbors, the Russell's. She has a lot of access to being able to see many parts of their house from her own.
She sees things happen in the Russell home, but can't seem to decide whether these are true incidents or fantasies that she has had, what with the medications and alcohol.
This was a good story, but there were things that should have been surprises, but weren't. Some of the plot twists were easy to see coming.
Deff deserves more than 3 stars. I love any kind of story of a voyeuristic nature on some levels. I loved Rear Window, both years of it.
This book was very good but it could have used a few more moments of people watching from the window. There didn't seem to be enough of those. It had fast chapters which I liked and didn't. Some were too short.
The book has a surprising ending. I thought I knew who the killer could be but then the author takes you on a different journey. Deff worth reading.
A psychological thriller with twists and turns and a surprising ending. Agorophobic woman watches her neighbors out the window and watches a woman across the street get murdered. The "who did it" is one story line that has twists and turns and will keep you guessing. I equally liked the story line of the main character who is agoraphobic - how did she become that way, what happened to her, what happened to her family. The first story line was a psychological suspense. The second was hauntingly sad. Good combination. Well written.
A suspenseful, thrilling ride with all the right twists in the right places, with pieces revealed in steady drips that kept me hanging on for more, but not without some heartache along the way. Easily one of my top reads so far this year and enthusiastically recommended.
Pretty good thriller, although I got really tired of hearing about the counting of all the wineglasses and how the wine went down...bit way too much on that and we got it right at the beginning. Otherwise as mysteries go, it was pretty good. I did like the writing too.Not your usual sloppy throw out another mystery book written just to sell more. Same old, same old. It felt more independent than that.
This wasn't great. Not bad, but not great. Not "unputdownable" as Stephen King supposedly said (I have a hard time imagining him using that word at all).
I hated Anna - her medicating & drinking just ticked me off. The last 20 or soo-o pages were decent & I'm not sure how I fell about the ending.
Overall, too 'Girl in a Train -&all the rest like those bestsellers - for me.