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The Woman in the Wall

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,828 Ratings  ·  183 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 Houghton Mifflin (first published January 1st 1997)
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Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diana Welsch
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up The Woman in the Wall because it sounds like a ghost story, but it's actually about a girl growing from 7 to 14-years-old while having literally boarded herself up in the walls of the family home. If that sounds ridiculous, it is. It reads like two separate books smooshed together, one less promising than the other, but because they blend so poorly and are such blatantly different genres I can't decide which half is worse.

The first section is fantasy, with a family whose husband/fa
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I first read this when I was in middle school and thought the idea of living in secret passageways inside an old Victorian mansion was the best idea ever. When I accidentally stumbled across it at the library I decided to re-read it just for nostalgia's sake. This book was written well enough that I was okay with finishing it, but it was frustrating. Now that I'm old and have more life experience, the heteronormativity in this book was annoying. The one thing I did enjoy was the ridiculousness o ...more
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.
Jul 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, childrens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute, quick read.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna is a small shy 7 year old girl who lives in a big house with a mom and two other sisters. She decides one day to make a place in the walls of the house after being traumatized by someone from a school visits to convince her to go to school. After that she continues to stay in the walls without realizing how much time has passed.
After 7 years go by , Anna is still living in the walls of her home. Anna hides within the walls of the house and comes out only at night to eat when everybody is s
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 10 & up
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rated PG.

This is probably one of the most unique Cinderella stories I've ever read, where Cinderella becomes a servant of sorts, and both underappreciated and ignored, because she's ... shy. As in cripplingly shy. So shy that the tag "out-of-the-box-thinking" that I've attached to this particular book should really be "secreted-in-the-walls-thinking." (But then no one would care, right?)

I actually really enjoyed reading this book several times as a teen.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lee Anne
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have thought about this coming of age novel ever since I read it at 14 years old.
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an odd little book. It was interesting, but my enjoyment was hampered by the bad ebook version I was reading. It had obviously been badly scanned. The story was ok, though.
Ann Dague
Ok story...a little disturbing that a young girl can disappear in the walls of her own home and her family not do anything to get her help.

I read this one because I really liked a couple of others that this author wrote. Don't really recommend this one.
Oct 13, 2013 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

Megan Roberts
Quick read
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-ya, 2017
I read about this book on a list of young adult books from each decade going back, which started in 2017, 2007 - this one came from 1997. Of course I can't find the article now (if I do, I'll link it!). It sounded interesting: Anna, who is extremely shy - and also crazy resourceful - decides to hide within the walls of her house. Her own father disappeared amid the stacks of the Library of Congress years ago, and Anna has always had the gift of blending into the walls. Years pass, and Anna recei ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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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