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The Woman in the Wall

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,663 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
Anna is more than shy. She is nearly invisible. At seven, terrified of school, Anna retreats within the walls of her family's enormous house, and builds a world of passageways and hidden rooms. As the years go by, people forget she ever existed. Then a mysterious note is thrust through a crack in the wall, and Anna must decide whether or not to come out of hiding. Patrice ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,898)
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Jul 05, 2013 Mariel rated it it was ok
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
Jubilation Lee
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
Aug 02, 2007 Lisa rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 05, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it
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.
Diana Welsch
Nov 29, 2015 Diana Welsch rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
A person fades from view and lives their life invisible to others. This is one of those premises that immediately intrigues me. Displaced Person by Lee Harding is another example, and that's one of the scariest and best books I've read in the last few years.

The Woman in the Wall is a different take on this premise. It seems like more of a fable of sorts. At age 7, Anna is all but invisible already. With "a face like a glass of water," she is painfully shy, ignored by almost everyone and frequen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
A very unusual young adult novel about a middle sister, Anna, who is so shy she retreats into the walls of her home rather than risk a stranger looking at her. I wasn't sure where this book would go at first. I didn't even think of Anna as a real person but as the aspect of shyness from her older sister, Andrea.

At age 7, Anna proves to be a master seamstress and carpenter. She redesigns the house so she can live in the walls without her family knowing the difference and spends 7 years, hiding.
May 09, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 16, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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.
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)
Jul 25, 2007 Tara rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, childrens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2012 Mallory rated it really liked it
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
Maddie Malee
Dec 18, 2015 Maddie Malee rated it it was amazing
Have you ever felt invisible? Well this book takes feeling invisible to a whole new extreme. Anna is seven and no one ever notices her. She feels left out and not important. Like all kids she is nervous to go to school especially because she is not the type to be out going and make friends. Anna figures since no one ever pays attention now no one will notice if she is gone. So Anna at the age of seven makes passages in the walls and lives in the walls. Anna being invisible no one realizes she is ...more
Apr 01, 2015 Madeleine rated it it was amazing
I read this a long time ago when I was probably ten or eleven. I adored it when I first read it and it was the catalyst for me to read other Patrice Kindl books like OWL IN LOVE and LOST IN THE LABYRINTH both of which I loved.

I feel like Patrice Kindl is like a child's version of Francesca Lia Block. Both make the surrealistic seem commonplace, the separation between the possible and the impossible not so separate. What I love about this book is that Anna's smallness, her ability is never expla
Apr 10, 2015 Jay rated it it was ok
I originally read this book back in junior high, and remember being quite attached to it after I finished it. I always thought about it and over time my memory regarding the finer details of the book got lost - so all I recalled were the feelings I had whilst reading it.

One day, I was browsing a used book store and saw this title! I immediately grabbed it and proceeded to nestle it on my book shelf between other books I have yet to read. Now that I'm done my hell week I gave it a go. Like a ment
Mar 01, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: u13
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.
May 25, 2016 Aztarangela rated it it was amazing
It sounded just like me a little bit. I used to be shy and all and then I did grew out of it eventually. I mean I still had some coaxing out of my hidings, and everyone wanted me to be where they were, and technically I felt safer if I was left alone by myself. This character Anna is more than shy. In fact she makes herself nearly invisible, most of the time her mother and sisters don't see, hear, or pay attention to her, just like my mother she ignores me, and never has time for me when I want ...more
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
Ashley Wade
Sep 29, 2015 Ashley Wade rated it it was amazing
My book is called The Women in the Wall by Patrice Kindle. This book has many characters but the main ones are Anna , the big sister, the little sister and F. The settings in this book is the school and the mansion ( house). The genre I think is realistic fiction because there could be a person who could live in a wall. This book is about a girl who is so skinny nobody notices her. Her mom had told her that she had to go to public school. Anna did not want to go to public school. After Anna had ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Re: Veith Veith
Aug 13, 2014 Re: Veith Veith rated it liked it
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
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Oct 24, 2007 Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it liked it
Shelves: read-ya
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!
Jan 07, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing
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 Hamzah
May 07, 2014 Munira Hamzah rated it liked it
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
Sep 09, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it
Cute, quick read.
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 03, 2012 Kathleen Dixon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-reading
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
Sep 24, 2012 Despair Speaking rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2013 Lydia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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

Apr 26, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
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,
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.
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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
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