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

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: William Morrow

This was quite the drunken ride along. In 2016 I had Rachel of The Girl On the Train, then I met her messier, drunker cousin in 2017 in Vanessa of The Wife Between Us and now, in 2018, I've spent time with Dr. Anna Fox. She makes the prior two look like they're failing at day drinking and self-annihilation while she's giving the Great Course. Should this trend of woman hold, I can't wait to see who I meet in book world in 2019.

Anna is agoraphobic after a terrible tragedy and self-medicating with a slurry of pills and about an entire vineyard's harvest worth of wine. She also has a singular love for classic films (which I found endearing as, thanks to my parents, I have a deep penchant for TCM) and an obsessive hobby of watching her neighbors through her windows with her camera. Because she can't not round out the Crazy Lady profile, she has a cat. His name is Punch. All the boxes ticked then and none of it is wasted here.

Anna was frustrating and difficult to abide with but I found I was on her side and pulled for her throughout because of one simple thing. Even bogged down in the mire of her problems and drunken stupor, when she heard a scream and thought someone needed her help, she got up and got herself outside (no small feat for an agoraphobic) and with her umbrella shielding herself from the sky as she went, she counted and recited the Psychotherapist's Oath to herself: I must first do no harm. I will promote healing and well-being and place others' interests above my own. Throughout, even when it seemed she couldn't much help herself, she was compelled to help those in need and I liked that about her.

Giving no spoilers, I will say that there are plenty of things you'll suspect or know fairly far out, if you're a frequent reader of domestic type thrillers or those of the Girl/Woman Who... variety. But the reveals are well done here and you won't mind that you quirked an eyebrow about that thing that set off your alarm bells far earlier in the book. Also, there are some delicious twists that aren't apparent that made for jolly good reading. Highly recommended.

Summary: Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times--and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, and their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.A

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