Title: The Women In The Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow and Company
Published On: 2 January 2018
There is a thin line between reality and hallucination.
A psychological thriller captivated in the four walls of a house.
What is the book about?
It’s been ten long months since our protagonist Anna Fox last left her home. Her Agoraphobia weighed more than fresh air and thus she never has the courage to step out. For ten long years, she haunted her old New York house like a ghost lost in her memories, talking to herself, too petrified to cross even the threshold of her house.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she observes her neighbours and captures them in her Nikon camera. When Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that once belonged to her.
But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the ominous silence and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now that she must do everything, she can to unveil the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself? Was she hallucinating or was it a reality?
I think this book is over-hyped. Undoubtedly, the two major twists towards the end will definitely blow your mind but until then the story is very slow-paced. Only because of the unexpected climax, the book was worth reading.
For the first 120-150 pages, the plot seems stagnant with a lot of unnecessary description. Such a description seems little deviating from the main story. Here I must say that the author fails to capture the readers. However, this story is more or less the same as the story of the Rear Window. The only difference is the setting and the character of the protagonist. To some extent, I felt the book is plagiarised.
The Writing Style
The entire book is written in the form of a diary entry, where Anna pens down her daily activity as well as her feelings. It’s divided into small chapters of around a hundred.
I have a sort of mixed feeling about this book. It was really tough for me to get hold of the protagonist’s character. Finn writes fluently, but, honestly, I was bored with the agoraphobic narrator and her endless witterings about old films (which I could not relate to because I have never heard of them)and how many bottles of wine she drank each day with her pills. If one reads regularly this genre, this is a hokey tale that one may have seen before.
Some of my favourite lines from this book are –
And if I don’t want to die, I’ve got to start living.
I know the skies are vast and deep, an upside-down ocean.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my time working with children if I could whittle those years down to a single revelation, it’s this: They are extraordinarily resilient.
Shaw also said, alcohol is the anaesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
My head was once a filing cabinet. Now it’s a flurry of papers, floating on a draft.
Something’s happening to me, through me, something dangerous and new. It’s taken root, a poison tree; it’s grown, fanning out, vines winding round my gut, my lungs, my heart.
Who should read this book?
One who is a psycho-thriller or a suspense lover should definitely try this book out just because of its climax. Those who are avid readers may love to read this book. But it’s not for the beginners as they may find it boring.
About The Author
AJ Finn, a pseudonym for Daniel Mallory, has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement (UK). A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years as a book editor before returning to New York City.
His 2018 novel The Woman in the Window debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list and has been adapted into a feature film. Mallory came to attention in 2019 for lying extensively about his past in order to excuse personal shortcomings and illegitimately further his literary work and career.