Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Her husband's almost home. ~ Opening of The Woman in the Window



The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
William Morrow, 2018
Crime Fiction (Thriller); 448 pgs
Source: Review copy provided by publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review.

Doctor Anna Fox lives alone in Harlem, never venturing outside its walls. It is her safe haven. Anxiety and agoraphobia plague Anna, and so she has found ways to cope as best she can. Her food is delivered. Her basement tenant is a handyman, who helps her around the house when needed. Her physical therapist and psychiatrist meet her at her home. Hiding from the outside and her past, Anna finds comfort in medication and alcohol, and also in watching her neighbors through her windows. She knows their habits and many of their secrets.

When a new family moves in across the park, Anna’s safe but dysfunctional world is rocked. In a drunken haze, she witnesses a terrible crime through the window of the neighbor’s home. Did she really see what she thinks she saw? Or was it just a hallucination?

A.J. Finn takes readers into the mind of Dr. Anna Fox as she grapples with her own illness. The reader knows right from the start Anna is an unreliable narrator. And it had me questioning her take on everything at every turn. There were certain aspects of the novel I figured out right away while others came as a surprise. I liked the way Finn kept me guessing—and glued to the pages of the book. I just had to know. What was real? What was imagined? What was going to happen next?

As someone who experiences anxiety issues and with my background in psychology, I was especially drawn to Anna’s character and the portrayal of her mental illness. Anna herself is a child psychologist, which I thought was genius on the author’s part. It adds a more complex layer to Anna’s character and situation. Anna is very isolated, cut off from just about everyone. She has her online support group, as well as her tenant, physical therapist and psychiatrist, but, really, that’s it. Her fear of leaving her house is palatable. Maybe because I know something about panic attacks from personal experience, I felt her rising anxiety acutely several times throughout the novel.

The Woman in the Window has been described as Hitchcockian for good reason. Anna is a lover of Hitchcock’s films, and there is almost always one playing in the background. It adds to the atmosphere of the novel, which itself is very like a Hitchcock film.

It takes me a couple pages to fall into Anna’s narrative, but once I did, I was hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed The Woman in the Window, and hope you will too.

To learn more about A.J. Finn and his book, please visit the author on GoodreadsInstagram, and Twitter.

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

37 comments:

  1. I've heard a lot about this book, and now I really think I should read it! Thanks for the great review!

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  2. I've had this one on my list, but your review makes me eager to read it!

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    1. Jenclair - Hopefully the hype for it hasn't ruined it for you. I know it has some.

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  3. This was a great read and I'll be curious to know what the author has in store next.

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    1. Melody - Me too! I look forward to the author's next book.

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  4. It's very Rear Window-ish. I have this one on hold. I am really into psychological thrillers and suspense books these days.

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    1. Ti - Yes, it definitely is. I seem to be really into psychological thrillers lately too. There must be something in the air.

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  5. I can't WAIT to read this one!!!! Great review :)

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  6. I've got this one too and plan to read or listen to it soon. I love the Hitchcock aspects because I've loved many of his films over the years. In recent years, so many authors have used those films to add to their narrative in books and I find that a lot of fun. Panic attacks - I've experienced a couple myself and they are not at all fun. I'll be warned about that in the story and know I'll be able to sympathize thoroughly. Thanks for a great review, Wendy!

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    1. Kay - I hope you enjoy it! There a lot of references to the old movies in this one. I like those types of references too. That and literary references, which I have also noticed seem to be in quite a few of the books I have read as of late.

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  7. Wendy, I’m at the 80% mark on my Kindle and also enjoying this one. Thx for sharing and avoiding spoilers 😬

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    1. Diane - I hope you liked this one in the end! I try really hard to exclude any major spoilers for anyone as I know how that can hurt one's enjoyment of a book.

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  8. I've got this on my TBR and I'm really excited. I really like that she has Hitchcock movies playing in the background. That makes this even more interesting.

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    1. Katherine - I hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

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  9. I keep hearing good things about this book! (And I love that Hitchcock connection.)

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    1. Lark - I really liked that aspect of the book too. I hope you like it if you decide to read it.

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  10. This sounds similar to Girl on the Train.

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  11. I peeked at your review for this one as I really, really want to read it myself! I'm so excited to hear that you enjoyed it so much. I cannot wait to read this one - hopefully very soon!

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    1. Samantha - I think you will really like this one, Sam!

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  12. This sounds like a fascinating story, will see if I can get hold of a copy at our library.

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    1. Claudia - I hope you can get your hands on a copy!

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  13. I can't wait to give this one a read!! Great review!

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  14. I placed a hold at the library for this one and I literally check every day to see where I am on the list because I want to read it so badly. I love the idea that it's like a Hitchcock film and am excited to hear that you enjoyed the story so much.

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    1. Suzanne - Haha! I hope you are able to get it from the library soon.

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  15. I love books like this and Hitchcock films! I need to get this one soon. It’s so up my alley. I’m glad you enjoyed it and terrific review! 😀😀

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    1. AngelErin - I think you would like this one. :-)

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  16. This sounds really good, Wendy! I haven't had a lot of luck with unreliable narrators lately but this one might be worth a try. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Carole - Unreliable narrators seem to be very common these days, don't they? I enjoy them from time to time, but too many in a row can be overkill.

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  17. It's in my TBR pile. I will get to it soon. All the comments I have seen about it have been positive.

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