The Woman in the Window Review
As much as I love family vacations, packing everyone for a getaway at the beach is a lot of work. Being the lovable Type A woman that I am (read compulsive planner) I got to the bottom of my packing list and realized I hand’t packed a book yet. I raided my bookcase for all my unread options, but none of that gave me that beach read excitement.
So I found myself in my natural habitat, Target, for road trip snacks and a gripping novel to keep me company while suntanning. As I rushed through leaflet after leaflet, nothing sounded exciting enough. I settled on A.J. Finn’s (Dan Mallory’s pen name) The Woman in the Window.
Psychiatrist Anna Fox lives alone in her New York City home unable to go outside. She spends her day channeling “Rear Window,” spying on her neighbors, watching too many movies, and drinking too much wine. Then the Russels move in across the street. After witnessing something she shouldn’t, Anna is left questioning what is real, and what isn’t. Read a full summary here.
I wasn’t too excited to read it in the beginning, but after a few chapters I was so glad I chose this for vacation. To start, Finn walks us through Anna’s mundane life, giving you just enough nibbles of her past to keep you curious and engaged. Soon the plot picks up and it becomes a true page turner. I planned on finishing the book when we arrived home, but I risked car sickness and read it in the car. I thought it was interesting to follow a child psychiatrist with mental health issues of her own. Finn introduces and develops many characters that contribute to the read,
I’ve read multiple mystery-thrillers: Girl on a Train, Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, The Couple Next Door, and others, and I loved Finn’s approach. I’ve found with a couple of the books above that the ending can get rushed and messy. Finn does a beautiful job of tying loose ends while providing clarity and a shock factor. I can normally figure out who’s to blame in a good whodunit, but this one kept me guessing to the end. I' can recommend this book over Girl on a Train for sure.
The climax is at page 309; I didn’t see it coming at all and the chapters that followed had me in tears. While I loved this book and that it kept the mystery alive to the very end, I’m tired of the “unreliable woman” character. You know the type: she’s been through a divorce or a tragedy and turns to alcohol/drugs to cope and no one will believe that she’s a reliable source. We’ve seen this character multiple times in psycho thrillers and it’s overused in my opinion.
Page 309 to the end is enough for me to recommend this novel to anyone, definitely over the thrillers I listed above.
A movie is in the works with Amy Adams as the lead along with an impressive cast list. Even though the movie poster says October 4, a test audience deemed it too confusing and re-shoots are in the works. It’s predicted to release sometime in 2020.
Next week I’m featuring Lisa Ann Gallagher on the blog. She graciously did an author Q&A about her novel The Gatherers. We’ll be discussing the history behind the novel, her writing rituals, and diving into some of the characters. But I don’t want to give too much away! The Q&A will be posted Wednesday, August 15, 2019.