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Monday, February 26, 2018

The Woman in the Window - A. J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

First Paragraph(s):

Her husband's almost home.  He'll catch her this time.
     There isn't a scrap of curtain, not a blade of blind, in number 212--the rust-red townhome that once housed the newlywed Motts, until recently, until they un-wed.  I never met either Mott, but occasionally I check in online: His LinkedIn profile, her Facebook page.  Their wedding registry lives on at Macy's.  I could still buy them flatware.

My Thoughts:

The Woman in the Window is one of the most anticipated and publicized debuts in a while.  I was not sure it could possibly live up to all the hype - and it did in most ways, for me anyway.  Before I started it, I knew that it had a 'Rear Window' vibe to it and that it was about a woman who saw the world through her windows and her online activity.  She didn't leave her house and was, in fact, agoraphobic.  I find that condition very scary, probably because I could pretty easily imagine myself falling into it.  Anxiety is something that I have experienced most of my life and I've had a panic attack more than once.  The descriptions of those in this book seemed very real.  I liked the references to Hitchcock and old black-and-white movies.  That actually made me want to take notes and seek out the films mentioned to watch at a later time.  The self-destructive behavior of Anna, the protagonist, was harder to read about.  Her thought processes as she excused herself for combining alcohol and prescription meds were so sad.  Some of the twists were anticipated by me (my mind loves plot puzzles to solve) and a couple were not.  I think this one would film quite well, if the script was a good one.  All in all, in my opinion, it deserved much of the hype.  I liked it a lot and will definitely be watching for this author's next book.  Recommended.

Blurb:

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.

45 comments:

  1. This is one of those ones that I thought was hamstrung by the scenario of her being agoraphobic bc I thought the ending was so good, but could have been much better had Anna been given a chance to go out and interact with people more and build on the ending. Sorry, to vomit this all out here, but this one left me sooo torn!

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    1. No problem. I like that you gave your opinion. I hadn't thought of it that way - probably just identified so much with that whole anxiety issue. Though I did get so sad when she made such bad health decisions.

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  2. I enjoyed this one and I'm definitely looking forward to this author's next release.

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  3. I'm reading this now... very good so far!

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  4. I have this on my list .. Glad to know it lived up to hype.

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  5. There seems to be a lot of these Rear Window type stories out there now.

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    1. Yes, I think a lot of authors are using old movie plots as inspiration.

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  6. I agree that this lived up to its hype. I saw a few of the twists but not all of them.

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  7. I liked the book as well. I wish I had kept a list of all the movies mentioned... that is a great idea!

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    1. The problem is I didn't keep a list. LOL

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  8. I've been watching a DVD set I bought from Amazon UK called In The Club about a group of pregnant women. Wonderful show. There's a young mother, just 15, who becomes agoraphobic after her mother dies, and then her father is in a terrible accident and will never be able to take care of himself. She says she doesn't want to go outdoors because she is afraid something else bad will happen. There was also the fellow in the excellent American TV series called October Road. His condition began after 9/11. I sure do understand it, though I've not experienced it. After my mother died, it took a long time before I could get rid of certain rituals- thinking they would keep bad things away.

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    1. Yes, I can understand that. I know that reading has always been my 'hiding place'. The problem for me comes when I 'can't' read - too anxious for it or whatever. Then the bad thinking steps in. I really have to read for my mental health. Think that's a 'syndrome' (everything is a syndrome these days - LOL!)? The show you are describing sounds good.

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    2. Once I found out I could buy older Brit tv shows on Amazon UK, I was a happy girl. I have quite a ridiculous amount of them.

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  9. I am looking forward to this one even though it does feel a little familiar with that Rear Window plot going on.

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    1. As I said above, I think a lot of authors are using those old movie plots for inspiration these days. They could do worse. Ha!

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  10. I've seen some pro and con about this one, but I love the Rear Window trope and I, too, have problems with anxiety, so it remains on my list. I'm glad to know you liked it.

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    1. It worked well for me at the time I read it. I think I identified somewhat with the anxiety problems.

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  11. This is definitely one of those books that has gained so much attention like The Girl on the Train, etc. right? I often find it hard to pick up these books because I wonder if they'll live up to my expectations. Glad this one didn't disappoint! I do want to read it!

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    1. I hope it will measure up for you too, if you take a chance. :-)

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  12. This one has been on my TBR. Glad to hear good things about it. Not sure when I'll get to it. Hopefully soon.

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    1. I understand Laura. So many books, right?

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  13. This is a new, hyped book that I might actually like, at least based on your thoughts on it. I will probably still wait a while to try it though. I can imagine being agoraphobic too, I don't know if that would make reading the book better or worse.

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    1. I'm not sure if the agoraphobia would bother some or not. I found it pretty scary, while also not having trouble reading about it. I just kept imagining, what if it were me?

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  14. Glad to hear that it lived up to the hype for the most part. I got this one from Book of the Month not long ago ... another thriller on my huge TBR pile!

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    1. I get it. Mine is a towering pile. LOL

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  15. I've got this one on the stacks. Glad it was a good read for you.

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    1. Hope you like it when it gets to the top of your list!

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  16. My name is on the very long holds list at the library for this one. I'm glad you liked it.

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    1. I bet the list is long for this one - lots of publicity. Hope the list moves quickly.

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  17. I enjoyed this book, too (and I think a film is planned).

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  18. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it! I get a little nervous about books that are hyped so much and one of my favorite authors disappointed me with their last book so that's not helping! I'm adding this one to my TBR!

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    1. You should try it and see. Though I'm sure not everyone will think it's worth the hype, it worked well for me.

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  19. Oooh. Sounds good. Will add it to my TBR...

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    1. It was good, Gayle. Would be a good choice for Gothic October.

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  20. I agree. The depictions of anxiety and paranoia seemed very authentic. I've never experienced those, but Anna's plight felt very real to me.

    This one definitely lived up to the hype for me. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. It felt real to me too. Sad and a more than a little scary.

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  21. I was thinking this one would make a good film too. I really enjoyed this one.

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    1. I bet it's already been snatched up by someone.

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  22. I just checked on the status for this book on my hold list at the library and it's in transit!! Squeee! I can't wait to get my hands on this book. I'm so glad you felt it lived up to the hype.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!