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The Woman in the Window
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September 2020: Psychological > [Poll Ballot] The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn - 4 Stars

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Heather Reads Books (gothicgunslinger) | 319 comments I was (for the most part) pleasantly surprised by this one. Most popular thrillers with "The Girl/Woman Doing X" titles tend to be pulpy and juvenile, playing on warn out tropes instead of building actual suspense. I'm also wary of the trend of thrillers written by men using female or androgynous pseudonyms to write from the POVs of women – I've read a fair few of those that have fallen flat. A.J. Finn's The Woman in the Window almost manages to avoid this entirely, creating a well-written, taut suspense novel that kept me guessing until the very end.

Dr. Anna Fox has problems. A former child psychologist, she's now an agoraphobic and has barely left her house in ten months. She's on a lot of medications, which she is pairing with copious amounts of alcohol. She's separated from her husband and young daughter. And she just can't stop spying on the neighbors. This backfires one day when she witnesses something she shouldn't while watching the new family that just moved in across the street. Things spiral out of control from there, making Anna question everything about her reality as she tries to investigate.

This book is definitely a page turner. It moves at a fast clip and every chapter ends on a cliffhanger that compels you to keep reading. It's well-written and I liked Anna's voice. I found her to be a sympathetic narrator despite her numerous flaws. I also found her to be a believable female voice, which in and of itself shouldn't be extraordinary, but I have suffered through a lot of male writers failing miserably at women protagonists, so it has to be said. There's a ton of twists and turns, and I liked the homage to Hitchcock and other classic films like Gaslight. I guessed some of the twists fairly early on (view spoiler), but enjoyed the topsy-turvy nature of Anna's unreliable narration.

I did think there were perhaps one too many twists. I was disappointed by the eleventh hour reveal that (view spoiler). I really wish the novel had come up with a different ending, even if it would have been slightly more predictable. As is, it felt forced because the author thought he needed to subvert expectations yet again, even when plenty of them had already been subverted with much more deliberate care.

If it weren't for the last twenty-five pages, I would have given this novel five stars. I might be too generous in only knocking off one for the lackluster ending, but I was super entertained right up until that point, so I've decided it evens out.


message 2: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3782 comments 100% agree with everything you said.

I wonder if the movie will be release this year now or not.


Heather Reads Books (gothicgunslinger) | 319 comments Joi wrote: "100% agree with everything you said.

I wonder if the movie will be release this year now or not."


I did check IMDB and watched a trailer last night after finishing the book. The original release date said May 15, 2020, but now there's nothing about it. I thought the casting of Amy Adams as Anna was a good choice, but I didn't think Jane or Alister looked anything like they were described. Most of the adults besides Anna seemed way older than I was expecting (isn't it a plot point that Jane had Ethan young? Eh, Hollywood...)

I did think throughout reading it that the novel was begging to be made into a film, so I can't say I'm surprised one was in the works, though. I'd probably watch it if they released it on Amazon or something!


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