I am so blown away with this book! The Woman in The Window is an absolutely amazing, intoxicating, dark, and simply unputdownable debut novel by A. J. Finn.
The book follows the story of Dr. Anna Fox, a 38 year-old child psychologist. She lives alone ever since her separation from her husband. However, she does spend considerable time talking to her ex-husband and her daughter, who is in his custody. Anna has a drinking problem and severe agoraphobia that prevents her from leaving the house. For the past 10 months Anna has been trapped inside her three storey house. She is unable to step outside her home. No grocery shopping, no evening walks, not even to pick a package from the front door. Most of the times, she is under the influence of alcohol and the pills to control her anxiety.
Housebound and drunk, Anna spends her days watching her neighbors’ daily routines through her Nikon camera. Then one day, she witnesses an attack in the home across the street. Anna tries to report what she saw but nobody believes her. Did Anna hallucinate? Was it a side effect of her medication and alcohol? Was Anna’s mind playing trick on her? What follows is an absolutely gripping and page turning narrative.
The chapters are short, just 2-3 pages long. And so I kept reading one chapter after the other long past my bedtime. Anna makes for a great unreliable narrator. She believes what she had seen to be true but at the same time, doubts herself because of her condition. The author has done a great job in capturing her confusion and frustration.
Anna’s alcoholism and her being trapped in a house for almost a year due to agoraphobia makes for a unique plot. Adding another unique touch to the story is Anna being a child psychologist who chats online with people suffering with similar condition as hers. The setting of the novel- Anna’s three storey home with a basement adds another intriguing touch to the plot. Anna’s character has been so brilliantly portrayed that you want to know more about her back story.
I also really loved the way the author has used Anna’s passion for black and white thriller movies to build up the narrative. It offers interesting parallels with what’s happening around Anna. A lone woman in a big house with black and white flicks playing out loud in the background lend a creepy touch to the story.
This brilliantly written thriller hooked me from the start. The story is moderately paced but the short chapters, the twists and Anna’s character development kept me intrigued. I could predict some of the twists but that didn’t make the story any less enjoyable for me. But the final twist…oh my God! It was just perfect. The last 30-40 pages of the book were just mindblowing.
The book is fairly long but it is an engrossing and highly entertaining read…fast paced, full of fear, tension and suspense. If you like reading psychological thrillers then this one is absolutely a must read.
My Rating: 5/5
Title: The Woman In The Window
Author: A. J. Finn
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow and Company
Published On: January 2nd 2018
Page Count: 455
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