Book Review: The Woman in the Window



The Woman in the Window:  By A.J. Finn


Finn transports his readers to a modern Harlem, NY into the multi-million dollar five story brownstone home of Anna Fox; a child psychologist suffering from a severe form of agoraphobia.  Anna has not left her home in just under a year.  She spends her time playing chess online, watching old black and white movies, and contributing to an online support forum for individuals suffering from similar conditions to hers all while slugging bottles of Merlot to numb her mind.  She also spends hours with her Nikon in hand, watching her neighbors as they go about their daily routines.  That is, until a new family moves in just across the way.  All is normal until Anna observes something she cannot un-see.


Finn’s descriptive writing and close attention to detail often became overwhelming as the pages turned.  The reader finds him/herself engulfed in his/her mind’s eye and mentally painting a picture of the scene before their eyes.  As the novel picks up pace about midway through, the reader is nowhere near prepared for the plot-twist that will soon unfold.


SPOILER DISCUSSION:


Finn does an excellent job at putting the reader into Anna’s mind and slowly providing more clues and details along the progression of the story.  He is meticulous with what characters he chooses to add to the plot and when he decides to add them.  Through Finn’s descriptive writing, you really begin to understand Anna’s solitude as the blinds remain closed and she limits herself to who visits and when.  You even become confused as she mixes her pills with her wine and slowly fades off, as she does so often throughout the pages. 

I found myself thinking one thing and all signs leading that way and then there would be an ultimate plot twist.  For example, I had no idea that Ed and Olivia were dead.  That shocker took me totally by surprise and I went back to try to figure out the clues along the way, but there were few obvious ones, if not any.  I do believe the novel was meant to be slow, as it engulfs the reader into the life of Anna Fox.  The boring, slow moving life.  The chapters which were her “normal” every day antics, as the beginning of the novel are, run quick and short.  However, as the reader reaches the climax of the novel, the chapters quickly lengthen, just as Annas days seem to feel longer.  As I reflect on the piece it is not only

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