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"Unputdownable." (Stephen King)
"A dark, twisty confection." (Ruth Ware)
"Absolutely gripping." (Louise Penny)
For listeners of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade's most anticipated debuts, to be published in 36 languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: A twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.
It isn't paranoia if it's really happening....
Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times...and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble. And its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one - and nothing - is what it seems.
Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.
Bonus: Includes an interview with author A. J. Finn.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Debra on 01-12-18
An excruciating listen.
After about 90 of the 100 chapters and 10 hours into this book, it took all the willpower I had not to walk away. I was determined to finish it. Every chapter, scene, event, sentence and thought is belabored and drawn out WAY past what is bearable to the listener. Even increasing the narration speed didn’t help. The protagonist. who I believe was supposed to be a sympathetic character, was unlikeable and her own worst enemy. Over eleven hours and 100 chapters evolved into a ridiculous implausible ending with no pay off. Thank GOD it’s over!
341 of 364 people found this review helpful
By Mel on 01-18-18
Surprising -- not so much the book as the reviews!
When first considering this purchase I looked at the reviews posted here and noticed how heavily weighted those reviews were on both ends of the spectrum. It was either *Wow,* *Best of the Year,* or *Horrible,* *Couldn't Finish,* *Worst,* -- not much likemindedness or midsection. Jump to: I bought, I listened, then I tried to balance those incongruities with my own experience with this book.
In my opinion, this is a solid middle ground read that requires a commitment to stick with the first 1/2 of the book and pay close attention to the groundwork being put down. This book begins not at the beginning of this story, but somewhere in the middle, the literary term *in media res.* With this approach, expect that the author is going to fill in the backstory as the novel progresses. Attention! What some listeners may have thought was slow or boring is the current lattice-like foundation that is constantly being filled in, so it's important to listen and fill in behind you, as well as keep an eye forward. You could say that the story literally sneaks up on you. Another factor in this novel: the narrator's reliability... let's just say it's impaired. The listener needs to THINK about what is going on with our narrator; take her observations with her condition(s) in mind. She's not exactly giving us misinformation -- you just need to be an investigative listener. You need to see through her *condition* and not dismiss this wounded narrator as unreliable. Let's just say she's NUI...narrating under the influence or NWI, narrating while intoxicated.
Anna Fox, our narrator, is a former child psychologist that has recently suffered a severe trauma. What we know for certain is that because of the trauma she has PTSD and additionally has developed acute agoraphobia, seriously restricting her connections to the outside world. Even an open door or window sets her off. The author has used a formidable backdrop for the story, setting Anna in an affluent area of the city in a 5 story multi-million dollar home that she once shared with her ex-husband and young daughter Olivia -- both of whom she still speaks to regularly on her phone. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Fielding, and a friendly physical therapist visit Anna in her home once a week. Her meals and groceries are routinely delivered to her, as are a bushel basket of prescription medications, and a standing order from the liquor store for an impressive amount of wine. She has also recently taken in a nice looking male tenant that occupies the lower floor of her sprawling home.
Anna/Dr. Fox moves through her dark house mindlessly, usually wandering about in her robe with uncombed hair and the soundtrack from a constant stream of old black and white movies (specifically thrillers) plugged into her TV. Seated at a window, she looks out at the surrounding neighborhood from behind her camera and zoom lens. She focuses in on a home where a ladies' book club meets, following along with the monthly reads. She is particularly interested in watching a beautiful home across the park that has had several owners lately. She watches them come and go, daily routines, a woman doing yoga, a husband approaching the front door while the wife's lover goes out the back, the cost of the home each time as the housing market rises. [Are you possibly thinking Rear Window right now?] When she's caught observing (*spying is such a harsh word) she puts down her camera and goes to her computer. She connects with a support group (her name is *thedoctorisin*), she studies French, and she plays online chess. But in her safe cocoon, it's her movies that she uses to escape her thoughts, repeatedly watching favorites in her vast collection while she guzzles bottles of red wine and gulps handfuls of the medications she keeps on the table in front of the TV. You'd think a doctor would know better, but she forgets.
The author skillfully uses the noir movies to blur the lines of reality for both Anna and the reader. Bits of dialogue slip into Anna's conversations and thoughts. When she catches herself she wonders if those are her own reflections or something from the scene in a movie. ??Isn't that what Bogie said to Bacall in To Have and Have Not? Wasn't that a line from Dial M for Murder, or Rebecca?? Then one day, an unknown teenager rings her doorbell.
Unfortunately, the author takes several hundred pages filling the listener in. But, if you can hang in there and really participate in this listen, it is enjoyable and more than averagely clever. The author has an impressive knowledge of old films and uses the references to color the story with an atmosphere that is really unique and fun. He might try a little too hard to shake you off track, and if you've figured it out, the ending might feel a little anemic, but overall I found the journey entertaining, and this an intelligent debut novel from the author.
Fans of old B & W movies will have a leg up on other listeners and might especially enjoy this.
You just might find yourself asking, *Which woman, and from what window,* instead of relying on what you assumed was a given from the title of this novel. Nothing here should be assumed, nor is anything exactly *reliable.*
567 of 609 people found this review helpful