Wednesday 27 March 2019

The Woman in the Window

Finished March 18
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, read by Ann Marie Lee

This psychological suspense novel had a couple of mysteries going on, one that I guessed fairly early on, and one that surprised me. The main character, the one whose head we are inside, is Anna Fox. She is a woman in her late thirties, a child psychologist, who has undergone some kind of trauma that has caused her to be agoraphobic. This is the first mystery.
Anna lives in a large 4 story house in Harlem. On the ground floor is the entrance, the kitchen and living room, and a small bathroom, painted red. One floor up is her husband's study and her own office, and a storage closet, along with another bathroom. The next floor up has the master bedroom suite, and the top floor has her daughter's bedroom and a spare room. Anna also has a tenant in the basement, David, who's been there a couple of months. The idea to get a tenant came from her psychiatrist, who suggested she give a reduced rent for someone who could help out with small repairs, errands etc.
Anna talks to her estranged husband Ed and young daughter Olivia regularly. She gets groceries including a lot of red wine delivered, and her psychiatrist and physical therapist visit her at home. The remainder of her day is spent online, where she participates in a forus for agoraphobics, ands plays chess, and looking out the windows at the neighbours she can see, and watching noir movies.
Anna uses her camera to zoom in on her neighbour's activities and uses the internet to do some research on them, to find out background information. She really has no other contact with the outside world.
A change occurs when she gets new neighbours in the house across the small park next to her house. The Russells move in and she sees the husband and teenage son on moving day as she looks out. Soon after the son, Ethan, visits with a candle, a gift from his mom, and Anna surprises herself by letting him in and having a nice visit with him. Is it because she misses the previous contact she had with children in her job, because she misses her own daughter? Who knows.
When another chance encounter due to outside actions cause her to meet the woman of the house, she finds she likes her quite a bit, and feels the possibility of a friendship beginning. A second visit by the woman only deepens this feeling.
When she sees a terrible thing happening to the woman in the house across the way, she wants to help. She calls the police, and tries to do more. But the police doubt her story, and her alcoholism, the pills that her doctor has prescribed her for her situation, and her situation have the reader questioning her as well.
How confused is she? What has she seen, and what has she imagined? This is the second mystery. Anna's own questioning and some of her behaviours are erratic and unreliable. She is a well-meaning woman still recovering from a trauma that also has an element of guilt to it. She's been stuck in her house for nearly a year, and the isolation isn't helping.
I liked Anna, and I worried for her, and I wanted her to be okay. The story was well-developed and had its surprising moments, and I enjoyed that as well.


  1. I still need to read this one. :)

  2. I know what you mean Lark. I meant to read it ages ago, but it was only when I finished the last audiobook and was looking for a new one for my commute that it caught me eye.