- Title- The Woman in the Window
- Author- A.J Finn
- Published- January 2, 2018
- Genre- Thriller
- Personal Rating- 4/5
Lockdown has proven to be extremely trying, but it has given me the opportunity to read more; which I certainly didn’t have the time to do much of before.
If I’m being completely honest, this book is just one out of many I simply grabbed at a bookstore before the lockdown started. I was hooked simply by the title. “The Woman in the Window”- sounds like one of those noir, black and white films from the 1940s.
Now, this book has had a lot of media attention recently, not just from the upcoming film adaptation; which I absolutely can’t wait to see (check out the trailer here); but also for the allegations against the author, Daniel Mallory; better known by his pen name, A.J Finn. There have been numerous accusations that he lied about his past to further his literary career.
He’s alleged to have lied about having brain cancer, as well as that his mother and brother died of cancer…they are very much alive.
He’s also alleged to have lied about his education and professional accomplishments; he lied about having a PHD from Oxford. I could make an entire blog post discussing the allegations against him; however, ‘The New Yorker’ does it better. Check out the entire article here.
Honestly, I think that regardless of whatever the writer has been accused of; it’s irrelevant to the book itself.
From this point onwards we will be separating the art from the artist.
Dr. Anna Fox has agoraphobia, and hasn’t left her house in 11 months, so naturally, her main source of entertainment comes from watching her neighbours.
She’s separated from her husband, and therefore her daughter. Her only visitors are her physiotherapist and her therapist.
So obviously, her world changes when she finds a friend in Jane Russell, her new neighbour from across the street.
A few days later, Anna hears a scream, and later sees Jane get stabbed in her house. She calls the police, only to find that a new woman has taken her place. Who is this imposter? Who murdered the real Jane Russell? Did she ever really exist? These are all questions that Anna Fox must answer.
The difference between this particular book, and the other thousands of thriller mysteries out there, is the fact that the narrator’s perspective is completely unreliable- it’s difficult to trust a narrator when they don’t trust themselves.
She lies, not just to us, but to herself; to the extent that even she doesn’t believe her truth anymore. Or doesn’t want to know the truth that is. The best part is that it makes this book that much better.
The themes in this book vary from mental illness, to alcoholism, to the effect of the internet on how we live life today.
Anna lives her life almost exclusively through technology. She orders wine, groceries and medication exclusively online. She is a member of an online support group for agoraphobic people. She plays intense chess matches with faceless internet opponents. She even watches her neighbours through the lens of her Nikon zoom lens camera.
There is a stark contrast between this and the old movies she watches each night almost religiously. The films she watches are exclusively rewatched, classic films from decades past.
I absolutely loved this book. It’s one of those books that you know will leave a lasting impression on you, even before you finish it.
It also happens to be perfect timing that I came across this book at a time where I can relate to it so much. I’m not agoraphobic, but I can definitely relate to the feeling of being trapped at home, yet at the same time feeling absolutely terrified to go outside.
As for the 4/5 rating, it’s solely because I believe that there are very few books that truly deserve a 5/5 rating- sort of like when a teacher at school would justify giving a student 99% because 100% simply isn’t possible.
Without giving away too many spoilers, I’ll simply say that the unpredictable twists each time I turned a page left me twisting and turning at night.
I will also be including a few of my favourite quotes from the book, and don’t worry, there will be no spoilers- well not intentional ones at least.
“Watching is like nature photography: you don’t interfere with the wildlife.”
“Pretty sure you’re not supposed to be taking these with alcohol.”
“If I don’t want to die, I’ve got to start living.”
Thank you for reading! Comment below or reach me on Instagram @theconfessionsofarandomblogger
Until Next Time.