The Woman in the Wall
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The Woman in the Wall

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,311 ratings  ·  146 reviews
And hide is what Anna does throughout the course of this amazing book. She retreats into the fabric of a big old house, building a series of passageways and secondary walls that allow her to share the life of the house unseen by her mother and sisters. As Anna says, her family is not observant. But Anna herself is a quirky and perceptive witness to the life she has chosen...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published March 31st 1997 by Harcourt Brace and Company (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,112)
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Mariel
Jul 05, 2013 Mariel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I like it here can I stay
Recommended to Mariel by: and do you have a vacancy for a backscrubber
For the first time in years and years, I was out of the house. I stood alone under the naked sky with nothing but air and space between me and the huge, barbarously bright sun. I looked up into the sky and felt dizzy. At any moment, I felt, I might fall of the earth, I might be pulled into the greedy heat of the sun. Or I might go flying off into dark, eternal nothingness.

The water girl is looked through, seeing like nothing. Anna is seven years old when she disappears into the house. Please d...more
Monica!
Upon reread, I am able to recognize that The Woman in the Wall is perhaps intended to be a sweeping metaphor for adolescence. Shy girl retreats from the world but gradually grows and matures, and must learn to face her fears and the world, relying on her own internal strength and the strength of her family and friends? I get it.

But I hate metaphors.

So I’m going to disregard this newfound realization, and go back to thinking of Woman in the Wall as an epic fantasy adventure, where Anna can liter...more
Lisa
Aug 02, 2007 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls 10-15
Shelves: oldfavorites
I could always relate to her in this story because she was so shy, and I've always loved small places. The story is about this girl going from girlhood to puberty who is so small she's practically invisible, and she lives in this huge house with her family, and to get out of having to go to school, she crawls inside the walls and makes a home for herself in the walls. Looking back on it now, I understand what it symbolizes, and it makes me appreciate it even more. I also like Owl in Love, though...more
Miriam
May 09, 2009 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: shy people
Shelves: ya, younger
Anna is so shy that she is practically invisible and is afraid to speak to anyone outside her family. Terrified of starting school, she hides in the space inside the walls of her family's house. She stays there for years, coming out when her sisters are asleep to steal food.
Jessica
One of the greatest books ever! This girl is so pale and shy that some people can't even see her. When things start changing in her family, she reacts by living in the walls of her Victorian-era home, becoming a sort of good spirit for the rest of the family.
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morgan Renae
This was a sweet and strange little book. Nothing really happens, but I found it to be a relaxing story to kick back with. I feel like this could be a very formative read for younger kids, since the whole book is just one weird, melancholic metaphor for adolescence. It has lasting power, even if there's not much there to talk about.

(edit: the lasting power for a teenager, though? not so existent. i've already forgotten most of the story... and the fact that i've read it)
Tara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mallory
Ugh. Hated first half--or maybe third--of this book. Someone called this a metaphor for adolescence, and after reading that it was all I could see, and it irritated me. Unrealistic crap just to show how crappy it feels to be a kid like that, before and during awkward changes. Blech. But after F's first note, it got a hook in me and I was actually kinda interested in it. And thinking back, the beginning wasn't SO awful. Anyway, it got funny, and emotional for me, in a good way. And by the end, it...more
Ashley
I don't know how to rate this book, so I'm giving it a 3. I really want to reread it again. I read it a long, long time ago, and I don't think I really understood it when I read it. I remember feeling like I had a lot of unanswered questions by the ending. I'd really like to go back and read it again, to see if I maybe get a little more out of it this time, and can put the haze recollections together in my mind.
Michelle
I remember in elementary going back to this book over and over again. The idea was compelling, eerie even. The idea that a girl was so scared of people that she built her home in the walls and faded into a ghost of a girl.
I definitely will have to pick it up again and re-read it. I would recommend it for the people who enjoy YA modern-novels with a bit of a creepy twist.
Jenna
This was an odd little book! A young adult story whose synopsis made me curious enough to not only add it to my to-read list, but also to select it as one of my picks for book club. It's a quick read, but one that has left me scratching my head.

The Woman in the Wall is the story of Anna, the middle child of three daughters. Anna is quiet and shy; so much so that her mother and sisters almost never see her - literally. She describes herself as having, "a face like a glass of water," and is the na...more
Re: Veith Veith
I first read this book as a child and thought about the story often, wondering what book I had read. When I asked a librarian friend if she remembered a book about a girl who lived in the walls of her house she came back to me with the title. Once I saw the cover the gap in my memory was bridged. Revisiting this book as an adult is of course not the same type of magic. What I loved about the story as a child is where it sent my imagination. As an adult I didn't want the author to tie up all of t...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Symbolic fantasy, I guess. Kindl is obviously gifted, but I'd rather read something that was more plausible, or else that didn't pretend to be real. I'm too old to be able to cope with feeling this unsettled. Def. intriguing and worth the read if you're looking for something different.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I found this story odd, not quite believable, but appealing because I'm a private person myself, and the idea of living secretly within the walls of a house holds a certain fascination for me. It certainly fired off my imagination!
Jen
Ahhh!! I remember this book from when I was younger but I never remembered the title! I LOVED this book. This is the one where the girl dresses up like a moth, right?
Munira Hmz
I read this book a long time ago when I was barely a teenager, perhaps it was 12 years ago. I had a few issues with it then and still do now (I couldn't comprehend how she could live and move about in a wall), but other than that, I still think about this book every now and then, which probably means this book is actually very good. I did enjoy it. Perhaps I should read it again.

Things I still think about:
-Her living in the walls, obviously.
-Her bright green moth costume. I remember how I imagin...more
Kathleen Dixon
I have no problems believing in the worlds of science fiction or fantasy, and I have no problems believing in the amazing capabilities of children in children's fiction such as Roald Dahl's Matilda (and so on for many, many wonderful children's books), but I initially found myself saying, "Come on - this is too much to accept". Then I stopped short, had a little think about it, and realised that as I didn't normally have any difficulties suspending disbelief in order to enjoy a good story, then...more
Despair Speaking
Eat this, Charlie (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)! There's no way you can beat Anna in being a wallflower! She's such a wallflower that she lives in the walls - literally!

This interested me more than I want to admit. Anna awfully reminded me of Kuroko (from the manga Kuuroko no Basuke) that I couldn't help compare them as I read the story.

Basically, Anna is a girl who seemed so invisible that her own mother couldn't even see her even though she was right in front of her. She didn't seem to min...more
Lydia Shellenbarger
So I actually really do like the characters in this book, the story was fairly predictable, but because it is a coming of age story, some of the content was rather... awkward. And not the good kind of awkward.

Anyway, basic story premise, Anna is a very shy girl. And by very shy, we mean able to disappear from sight and blend in to backgrounds just so she doesn't have to talk to people or have them look at her shy. When her mom tells her she must attend school, much to the disbelief and fear of

...more
Jenny
I loved this one when I was 14. And, I still like it in my late 20's.

Anna has a talent for hiding. Shy, tiny and bland, she is often overlooked by her own family. Literally. They sit on her by accident. Not weird enough? Her father mysteriously disappeared early in her childhood. Death, you ask? Nope. Divorce? Nah-uh. MIA for 11 years and counting in the stacks of Washington D.C.’s Library of Congress? Bingo! And Anna is soon to follow in dad’s footsteps.

Thanks to her penchant for power tools,...more
Megan
Hmm. This started off as a wonderfully weird story about a shy and sometimes-LITERALLY-invisible seven-year-old girl juggling a strong ego with a tremendous fear of the world, and it all felt like something Aimee Bender would write, and I loved it. And then it got terribly banal and did banal stuff about gender and plot resolution and how prettiness is the best thing of all. I guess I was hoping for something subversively strange all the way through, not something that ended up so banal.
Megan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taylor
Anna is no ordinary girl. As she grew up, Anna found herself terrified of the people unknown to her on the outside of her home. She is deteremined not to go to school, even though she approaches the ages of seven. When worst comes to worst, and Anna fears she will have no choice, she uses her cleverness and extraordiary talents to build herself her own little house inside the darkest corners of her home. The house was inherited by her mother, and therefore, many of the rooms haven't been touche...more
Afton Nelson
Are you a bit shy? Kind of introverted? You've got nothing on Anna who so dislikes being around people, she is literally difficult to see. When she's faced, at 7 years old, with the task of attending school for the first time, she retreats into the wall--in a small section of the back of the coat closet with its own secret entrance. And she stays there for 7 years only associating with her family by watching them through holes, occasionally leaving them notes, and creating hand sewn clothing she...more
Christina Sesok
This had been one of my favorite books in middle school, and I decided to reread it (again) in college for sentimental purposes. Just like the first two times I read it, I found the beginning to be exaggerated a little bit too much of a stretch. I still found it interesting that a girl could be so shy that she would retreat to the safety of a series of tunnels inside her house.

The main character, Anna, has a certain majority and thirst for knowledge that reminds me of Roald Dahl's Matilda, but s...more
Amy Lawrence
Well written, and very unusual, a very interesting story, the story line just wasn't for me, very different story than her other books. I love her writing over all, each story is so filled with intrigue and humor and delight. I recommend this book even though it was a bit sad for a while and I am just not fond of sad books.
Grace
As much as I believe in the ingenuity of children, and how their mind's can be underestimated as well as their stubbornness, this was a stretch for me. A five and/or seven year old building all that? Forgive me if I scoff - though the idea is wonderful. I would've loved having passages in my house, built by me, and my own little room ("stung as an egg"). Anna must have been really tiny… Although I'm somewhat confused how you can mistake her, literally, for a doll, and not see her…

But I did find...more
Claire
Anna is a shy, small girl that tries to hide herself away from going to school.

It is obviously a fictional story because there are parts where she is practically invisible because she blends in with so many things, like curtains and dolls. Chances are even petite girls aren't this humanly small. And she builds her own home inside the walls, very possibly right? but if you can go along with parts like that, you will LOVE this book.

It tells how her life is hidden inside the walls, and as the years...more
♥Xeni♥
Dec 19, 2010 ♥Xeni♥ rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
I loved this book the first time I read it! My sister had brought it home, and when she brought it back to her friend? library? I had forgotten about it until a few years later, when it was jolted back into my mind.

I always loved stories of castles with secret passages, or huge houses with hidden corridors, and this book definitely takes that mythicism one step further.

The main character, Anna, doesn't fit in anywhere, so she pulls herself back and becomes a "ghost" who lives in the walls of he...more
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Childhood:
I was born in Alplaus New York in 1951, the youngest of four daughters. My father is a mechanical engineer, my mother a housewife. My family is very nice – I like them all a lot. As a child I loved animals and read obsessively.
We had (still have) a family cottage on Lake George. The people who live next door are life-long friends. On summer weekdays during my childhood there were ten fem...more
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