This is the debut novel for A.J. Finn. The Woman in theWindow is touted as being a psychological thriller. I have enjoyed these genres of books in the past and couldn’t wait to read this as I had heard only great reviews about it. Essentially, this book is about a woman, Anna Fox, living in New York City, by herself, even though we know early on she has a husband and a daughter. She has agoraphobia and therefore cannot leave her own house. Instead she watches her neighbours, watches old black and white movies, and drinks wine, lots and lots of red wine. The story begins when new neighbours move in across the park. Then one night, Anna sees something disturbing out of her window and this event spins her life out of control. Through a series of page turning events, Anna begins to wonder what is real, what is imagined and what is out of her control.
I have to admit that when I first started reading it, I wasn’t immediately pulled in. The first couple of chapters were a bit hard to get into, to be honest, but very early on things begin to pick up. As soon as the new neighbours move in you know something isn’t quite right. And immediately it becomes a page turner. I definitely did not want to put this book down and found myself trying to read even a page or two if I had a minute or two to spare.
Finn writes through the eyes of the agoraphobic, Anna, and at times it can be confusing as there are moments of time we just don’t have, however, we are meant to be as confused as Anna, so he does do a great job. You really feel like you are pulled into Anna’s world and are experiencing everything with her. And at just the right moments, the author gives us more information into Anna’s life and the reason she is the way she is.
There are a lot of twists and turns and even when you think you have it all figured out, you turn the page and you are proven otherwise. The storyline weaves and twists so much that you are never really sure what is going on until the very end. I love stories like this, that aren’t at all predictable, yet make sense once all is laid out. I can honestly say that I could not have predicted the ending, no matter how many different scenarios I was imagining. He did a great job!
Finn’s writing is catchy and original. I liked the themes and the characters. It was especially intriguing that Anna herself is a psychologist yet she is suffering with a psychological disorder that is threatening to ruin her life. The other characters are well laid out and there is just enough information given about them to make the story work and to make it real. The author sets the scene up well and describes it in just enough detail that you can easily picture her in that huge 5 story house.
This is actually a quick and easy read. Some of the chapters are quite short so you want to keep going. There are a few shocks throughout the storyline and one in particular had me dropping my jaw, but it makes total sense and works so well with the book. Even with all of the twists, the story is woven beautifully together and comes out perfect.
I loved this book and would definitely recommend it, especially if you like psychological thrillers. But it isn’t over the top scary, it just gets you thinking and wondering and gives you the creepy thrill factor just perfect for a novel. I really hope this author continues writing as he obviously has the talent.
On a side note, it does say the book is in production to become a movie. I can’t wait to see what they do with it!