I knew what I was in for with The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and I read it anyway. Apparently, the world is not yet tired of unreliable, boozy narrators a la The Girl on the Train and the violence they can’t seem to prevent from their proverbial perches.
Why is this a thing?
So, yeah, I didn’t really like The Woman in the Window. But I didn’t hate read it either. I just kind of went along wanting to see what would happen. Also, I love a good shut-in story. Aside from the agoraphobia, the estrangement of her family, and her impending divorce, narrator Anna Fox is kind of living the dream. She’s educated, wealthy, lives in a 4,000 sq. ft. NY brownstone, drinks a lot of wine (Ok, too much; alcoholism is not funny), and does pretty much whatever she wants all day. So…
Anyway, Anna is a children’s psychologist who is, we assume, estranged from her husband and daughter, though she talks to them every day. She’s agoraphobic and can’t leave her house. She spends part of her time watching the neighbors through the viewfinder of her camera. She also plays online chess, helps other agoraphobics through an online forum, and she is a classic film buff who is passionate about thrillers. Hitchcock and the like. There are a ton of classic films mentioned. It’s sometimes fun and sometimes borders on obnoxious. Like, OK, you don’t have to compare every mundane situation to an event or character in an obscure classic thriller.
Anyway, the real drama enters when Anna spies on her new neighbors. She meets the mother of the family, named not surprisingly after an old move star, Jane Russell, and eventually becomes embroiled in that family’s drama in a kind of Rear Window situation.
Tbh, I found this book to be a less adept version of The Girl on the Train. As I said above, the themes were similar, but the writing was also not all that captivating, and I also felt that the story did not build logically to one of the big reveals at the end—the answer to the question, “Who is the real Jane Russell?” I totally predicted the other big reveal about Anna’s family in, like, chapter 2.
Rating: 2.5 blood-curdling screams