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The Woman in the Window

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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, a mother and their teenage 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.

455 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 2, 2018

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About the author

A.J. Finn

4 books6,519 followers
A.J. Finn, 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.

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5 stars
226,207 (30%)
4 stars
308,003 (41%)
3 stars
158,399 (21%)
2 stars
34,460 (4%)
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10,730 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 57,998 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
January 16, 2018
Who knows what goes on in a family?

Okay, I really don't want to misrepresent this book: The Woman in the Window is a pulpy, fast-paced popcorn thriller. It's not mindblowing or groundbreaking, but it is pageturning goodness. And it was exactly what I needed to get lost in right now.

The premise is a little bit of The Girl on the Train and a little bit of The Woman in Cabin 10 (what is it with these girl/woman/wife titles?!), with an unreliable narrator, faulty memories, alcoholism, and the author playing around with our perception of what is true and what is imagined. My need to know what would happen kept me turning pages late into the night until I was physically incapable of keeping my eyes open a moment longer.

The Woman in the Window treats a rather obvious plot element as a spoiler for most of the book, so I'll play coy too. It's about a woman called Anna who lives alone ever since separating from her husband and daughter. We're not told the circumstances of the separation, but we do know that Anna has a drinking problem and severe agoraphobia that prevents her from leaving the house.

Housebound and drunk, Anna spends her days spying on her neighbours, until one day she witnesses something shocking in the window of the Russell's home. Everything begins to unravel when Anna attempts to report what she saw, and soon everything is being questioned: Did Anna hallucinate? Is it a combination of alcohol and pills? Can she even trust herself?

The chapters are short and hard-hitting, making the fast-moving plot zip by even faster ("This is the LAST chapter. Oh wait, the next is only two pages? Okay, this is the last chapter"). I think the author does a great job of capturing both the fuzzy-headed confusion brought on by Anna's alcoholism and the suffocating claustrophobia of staying inside for almost a year. She makes for a pretty great unreliable narrator, and it is easy to feel her frustration when she can't even be sure herself if what she says is completely true.

I also really liked how the author included Anna's passion for classic thriller movies. These offer interesting parallels with her reality and make you question whether something really did happen, or if Anna just saw it in a movie. Plus there's something a bit creepy about all these black and white flicks playing out in the background.

The Woman in the Window is the kind of cozy psychological thriller that is easy to gobble up in a sitting or two. I didn't even mind that some things were obvious because the getting there was so damn fun and suspenseful. I'll be on the lookout for more from Finn.

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Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews603 followers
May 16, 2021
Update… Paul and I just watched the movie…..
Great Cast….. but much darker - much more gruesome- - didn’t follow the book impeccably at all
— and not nearly as good as as the book……
My goodness…… they dramatized the violent graphics in the movie - but never fully developed the characters.
Oh well… what did others think of the film? Curious.

Older original ‘book’ review:

This is a solid 4 Stars for me. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a psychological suspense thriller —-a surprise gift in the mail. My copy says a film is already in the making. I can definitely see this novel as a movie. It should be good! The book is good.

There are a few other reviews about the plot already ....so I’m going to simply list some random thoughts about my experience reading it.

....I enjoyed the premises of this story. Anna Fox being a child psychologist with a psychological disorder herself was interesting: agoraphobia.
....I liked Anna
....I liked Anna as the narrator. She kept me reading through the dark hours of the night.
.....Nothing was ever too chilling or too graphic. The one violent scene was pretty mild for a book like this.... which I appreciate.
....I never thought Anna was looking out her window - with her camera in hand - just to be creepy. From the start - I suspected her looking out the window had another element- but nothing to do with the purpose of stalking, per say. It’s hard to explain, but it was a ‘feeling’ I had....yet she did look through neighbors windows.
....There was one surprise that was ‘really’ big for me — so much so -that I said to myself: “HOT DAMN, how do you like those crackers”?
.....The title of this book is great - and not ‘as’ obvious as seems from the start.
.....EACH of the characters are developed enough - just enough actually - they ride along with us ( the reader) as we are trying to figure what the heck happened:
1. To Anna
2. To a neighbor
.....The 5 Story house that Anna lives in creates a great atmosphere
.....Anna’s pill poppin wine drinking throughout didn’t alter my basic impression of Anna. I always felt that she was level-headed, and playing with a full deck - ( no matter how much drinking she did).....but was I wrong?
Hmmmmm I’m not sayin!

For a psychological thriller......this was unputdownable for me.... but not in a nailbiting way. I didn’t find it slow - or riveting....rather quietly gloriously-awesome.

***note: This book sounds 'long' with almost 450 pages --but.....they are 'very' short chapters.
Some pages only have a few words. Its a fast read!
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
316 reviews115k followers
April 13, 2018
5/5 Stars. I am SO BLOWN AWAY BY THIS NOVEL. The Woman In The Window is an absolutely amazing debut mystery-thriller. I cannot recommend it enough.

CW: agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, substance abuse/alcoholism, murder, death, grief

My favorite part of this novel is the writing style. A.J. Finn has the perfect sort of prose that forces you to think, “How can someone ACTUALLY think like this? How does someone forms the words to illustrate such a perfect passage?” This book is descriptive in a way I did not know ordinary things could be described. The writing is so beautiful. SO BEAUTIFUL. I am not the type of reader to get hung up on amazing vs. terrible writing, but I found myself pausing frequently while reading just to appreciate the sheer talent A.J. Finn possesses. I will literally read anything this man writes.

Being honest, The Woman in the Window is a bit slow to start. I listened to the audiobook so I don’t have an accurate understanding of the book page-number wise, but it took quite a few hours for the plot to really settle in. I feel the best way to describe the beginning of the book is “mundane” – It’s normal, ordinary, typical. We follow Anna through her routine, isolated days for many chapters at the start of the story with few peaks in plot to keep the story exciting. That being said, I can’t truthfully say it was boring. A.J. Finn’s writing is so intoxicating that reading about Anna sitting at her computer was enjoyable. It is slow paced to start, but not at all dragging and still enjoyable.

But of course, one of the absolute best aspects of the book is the immaculate plot. I love a thriller novel that has so many plot twists which all can convince me that the following twist is more believable than the last. Despite it’s slow pace, I felt as if I was at the edge of my seat for the entirety of the novel. I’m not the most prolific reader when it comes to thrillers, but The Woman In The Window is one of my favorites that I have ever read.

This book was absolutely amazing. I want to recommend it to absolutely everyone. I’m confident that A.J. Finn has become a new favorite author of mine and I’m so excited for the film adaptation of this novel and his future works.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.5k followers
March 24, 2018
I don't know if this is an unpopular opinion but I'm getting a bit tired of reading mysteries where the main female character is an alcoholic. I get it, it makes them unreliable (and relatable for some maybe?) but it's a cheap way of doing it.

With that said, I'm usually not too difficult with mysteries. They just have to not do anything stupid (racism, sexism...), be entertaining and have twists I don't see coming.

In this book, you're following a psychologist who went through something traumatic that left her agoraphobe and... an alcoholic. Sadly I saw the twists coming and some parts towards the end just didn't feel right.

However, I definitely felt like staying home and drinking... and I don't drink so I guess something in there worked... maybe?
If you're looking for what others have described as a "popcorn read" then this might be it for you!
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
May 28, 2022
The Woman in the Window suffers from the usual domestic thriller malady: an intriguing premise and a strong start that never quite materializes into a satisfying narrative.

Going in, the first pages grabbed me immediately. Usually it takes me a little bit to get going on a new book, with the initial pages being slow and filled with lots of setup, but no such problems exist here. The beginning was fast-paced and filled with riveting tidbits. But then we arrive at the main event, and the book completely slows to a crawl.

From that point onward, no detail is too small or too unimportant to be included. We read about main character Anna walking from room to room, eating cereal, looking out her window, checking her email, and playing online chess. She also watches black-and-white films one after another, and we are told in detail of their plots and actors. It was so much filler that I often caught myself skimming ahead just to find some sort of action.

We are also treated to many pages of rambling narration about Anna drinking several bottles of wine every day while mixing in prescription medicine, then spending the rest of the time telling herself to focus and to think. She would wonder if she should drink some more or not drink some more. When she is not focused on drinking, she acts like a complete loony, shouting at people and lying to everyone. After all this, she is confused when people don't believe what she says.

Reading about people who make one bad decision after another, trying their darn hardest to sabotage their own life, is not what I consider to be a good time. I kept wishing something bad would happen to the character, just to be spared of any more nonsense. And this trope seems to be an easy way out. Instead of taking the time to come up with a well-rounded character, why not just make the female an alcoholic, say she's an unreliable narrator, and put "woman" in the title of the book.

And on top of all that, the mystery here isn't all that interesting. I enjoy having the main character figure out what's going on by being clever and putting together the clues. Instead, this mystery unravels because Anna is eventually told what happened. I felt pretty let down by the end, especially in light of having to read so many pages of utter drudgery to get there.
Profile Image for Justin.
284 reviews2,301 followers
March 22, 2020
Women, girls... they are everywhere, man. They’re in cabins, they’re on trains, they’re in spider’s webs or hornet’s nests. Sometimes they’re gone. Sometimes someone let them go. Sometimes they’re in a group. In this case, there is a woman in a window. She’s not a woman in white or a lady in shadows or a girl who circumnavigated anything. She’s just a woman named Anna Fox in a window.

And, like all of her friends from all those other books, she likes to drink a lot. And, just like her friends, maybe she’s crazy! She is so unreliable! The drinking and the agoraphobia and all! Who can trust her? Oh boy oh boy this feels just everything else, doesn’t it? This sounds like every other book you’ve read in your life these days. A girl, a woman, some other pronoun like “you” or “I” in the title. You’ve been here before. You’ve seen this trick too many times.

Who is this A.J. Finn person and what makes them so special coming out here in 2018 with a title and a plot we have all seen dozens of times already?

More importantly, how does this A.J. Finn person manage to breathe new life into something that I vehemently hate? I mean it is well documented all over Goodreads how I often find these books to be OK best, and that’s rare. Now, here I am cranking this book on up to 4 stars like a total hypocrite. I get it. It’s fine.

This is a perfect summer read. I read it on a plane, but it would mix well with a beach or mountain. Whatever you wanna do. It is extremely fast paced, edge-of-your-dear kind of stuff. Very light and easy to breeze through. The plot twists and turns (although some of the big twists feel like something you already knew) are plentiful and press on to the very end. The ending tire everything up nicely, and while not too jaw dropping, it was satisfying.

Finn also got me with the constant classic movie references and Hitchcock stuff. Anyone else feel like watching Rear Window or Vertigo now? I should go back and make a list of all the movies referenced in this thing.

So yeah I enjoyed it. I felt like it was a cut above other psychological thrillers in this day and age. I went in not knowing much of the plot and with an open mind, and I am glad I took the time to knock this one out. Give it a whirl this summer while you’ve got some time to just escape for a bit and sink into a good Hitchcockian tale about another woman in another window. Thank goodness she wasn’t on a train this time.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
May 7, 2021

Big Bois.

Everyone's heard of them. The Libraries are full of them. But are they worth it?

Click the link for my video review of the big bois in my life.
The Written Review:

My head was once a filing cabinet. Now it’s a flurry of papers, floating on a draft.
Agoraphobic Anna Fox resides in New York City.

She's found ways around anything and everything that she needs - whether it be grocery delivery, hiring a handyman or cases of her favorite wine every few months.

She will never need to leave her house and can get numb the pain as much as she wants.
“My dear girl, you cannot keep bumping your head against reality and saying it is not there.”
She spends her time observing the neighbors - keeping track of the gossip, watching the children get older, and more.
Watching is like nature photography: You don’t interfere with the wildlife.
And then, the Russells move in across the way.

A father, mother and teenage son. Anna is immediately struck by how perfect the family is.

But then...the unthinkable happens. She sees someone - someone who she thinks she knows - crumble to the floor in the Russells' kitchen - dead.

And yet, no one believes her. To them, she's just a staggering drunk shut-in.

But she knows what she saw. And she needs to get help - and fast - otherwise the next person could be her.

Overall, objectively this one was fairly good.

It started slow but picked up. The ending was simply un-put-downable. I quite enjoyed it.

But I'm getting really tired of the unreliable narrator with a drinking problem. It's just something that I feel like I've read so many times (Girl on the Train, Woman in Cabin 10, etc).

It made the book feel predictable, and even the big surprises felt like minor twists because I read the other two books (mentioned above).

Ah well.

It did provide an amusing few hours.

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Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,127 reviews3,714 followers
December 28, 2017

"Agoraphobia is an intense fear and anxiety of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available. Agoraphobia usually involves fear of crowds, bridges, or of being outside alone." -NIH

For the past 10 months Anna has been trapped inside the four walls she calls home. She can’t bring herself to take a single step outside. No grocery shopping, no walks through the park, not even to pick a package from the front stoop. Anna is an agoraphobic. Her days are filled with pills to control her anxiety and other ailments followed by a bottle or two (sometimes more) of wine to wash it all down. Her life outside her home is only viewed through her Nikon camera, where she watches her neighbors’ daily routines. (Much to their chagrin).

When she witnesses an attack in the home across the street no one will believe her. Not the home owners, not even the police!
Anna begins to question if it’s a side effect of her medication, or is there a reason no one wants to believe her.

This book started out very slow for me. With most of us saying “huh? I’m confused!” That confusion quickly cleared as the pace revved up. Soon I was in full speed thriller mode! What an incredible ride. A.J. Finn had me questioning everyone from Anna herself to a grandmother in Montana!

Some of the twists were predictable - but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment. The big finale of a twist was absolutely perfect! Didn’t see that one coming at all! It’s a fairly long book but reads super-fast and keeps you glued to the pages! This is my favorite kind of thriller!!

Highly recommend!

A Traveling Sister read with Brenda, Norma, Susanne, Lindsay, Diane, Kendall, Jan and Holly!

Thank you to Edelweiss, HarperCollins and A.J. Finn for a copy to read and review

For this review and our full traveling sister review please visit Norma and Brenda’s fabulous Traveling Sister blog:
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,307 reviews44k followers
January 1, 2022
Finally the movie adaptation of this delicious thriller has a releasing date from Netflix! Check out your calendars for May 14th ! Yayyyy! So curious to see Amy Adams’ performance!🥳

Oh boy! This was a real nail biter, hair splitter, stomach churner, mind number, soul disturber product should be consumed with lots of popcorn and quarantine cocktails!

Funny thing is I wanted to check the film adaptation status because since December 2019 I was waiting to watch Amy Adams’ Anna Fox performance excitedly but they postponed the realizing date and now I wonder if I will watch it till 2021! (At least the producers insist not to share on VODs!)

And another funny thing after watching trailer, I found out, I forgot some important details about the book so I decided to have a fast re-reading time to remember what I liked about it so much!
At my first reading I gave five stars and now I dropped it to 4 because becoming long time thriller reader make you cocky and tough grader and of course when you read so many amazing thriller stories (I weekly consume at least 5 of them!) you’d better learn to be picky!

The story’s claustrophobic building, being trapped in a house because of suffering from agoraphobia and you’re a child psychologist at the same time is unique plot. The fast pacing, high tensioned progression and Anna Fox’s character development is also brilliant. You want to know more about Anna’s story: Why she cannot leave the house? Why her husband and her own child live in another house? What kind of traumatic experience turned her into an alcoholic!

And wait a second! Rear Window vibes added into story’s tensed equation. Anna always watching the neighbors every day because she cannot leave her place: Not like physical problem like Jimmie Stewart had, she is fighting with her own inner not so little demanding evils. She saw something very dangerous, lethal! She calls the authorities to inform them but did she really witness to a murder? Did she create all of it in her head? We don’t know that because we have unreliable narrator. Don’t get me wrong! I love her from the beginning! I root for her and I wanted to know what kind of events put her in so much pain.

This book hooks you op from the beginning and you start to flip the pages nonstop, resume your reading till the words get blurry and your eyes protest you to stop for having goodnight sleep but you cannot stop because even though you go to bed, the story stay at your head and haunt you in your sweet nightmares.

Overall: The final is predictable but it is still riveting, intriguing, entertaining reading. I wish we may see its movie adaption in this year. I’m lowering my stars to four at my second reading but I still enjoy this book so much. Bring it your snacks and drinks! Get your precious ass on your seat and get lost in this alternative highly gripping reality!
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
November 6, 2018
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best debut AND best mystery & thriller 2018! what will happen?

so, add my name onto the long list of superheroes who are conflicted about their powers, moaning about how alienating it is to have superhuman abilities, how it is truly more curse than boon.

because i have emerged from two weeks of debilitating illness physically enfeebled, but with a new power, like john smith in The Dead Zone - i can now call all of the twists. not one or two, but all. of. the. twists.

and this does not please me, or make me feel superior or smug. in fact, it’s kind of like a little magic went out of the world.

that’s not to say i didn’t enjoy this book - it’s a chewy psychological thriller with a good instinct for pacing and a juicy, if familiar, premise. basically, it’s Rear Window where agoraphobia is standing in for “broken leg,” and with another layer of unreliable narrator smooshed in by pretty much grabbing that drunk voyeur lady from The Girl on the Train to be the main POV narrator - a wine enthusiast on many prescription pills who cannot leave the house and whose main tether to the world is through the internet (which we all know to be the purest reflection of humanity), and spying on her wealthy neighbors through the zoom lens of her camera, when one night she witnesses a woman being murrrrdered; a woman she’s met and tentatively befriended, a woman she is told, after reporting the crime, simply does not exist.

already, it’s got great bones, and i understand why this is being hyped up as THE book of 2018. for a debut, it’s very impressive - the claustrophobia of trauma-based imprisonment is palpable, and the narrator’s love of classic films adds to the fraught atmosphere where references and scraps of dialogue blur the real/fantasy line from the constant background presence of something hitchcockian flickering on her laptop. and even the reveal/withhold ratio is well-maintained, for those of you whose high fevers and persistent hacking coughs have not left you with advanced sensory perception.

it’s a microwave popcorn book - fast and satisfying and buttery-slick, with SO! MANY! POPS! OF! SURPRISE! and even if you call every one of them, it’s still a satisfying treat.

now i am off to brood some more about my magical burdens.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Deanna .
688 reviews12.5k followers
March 2, 2018
I had “The Woman in the Window” on my list to read, but thought it would be awhile before I got to it. But then I came across it on Audible. So I decided to use one of my credits for it. I am starting to enjoy audiobooks a lot more, though I do find them harder to review. I usually have a ton of post-it tabs in the books I read that help me keep track of things. With audio, I’m usually relaxing and don’t want to stop to make a note.

Anna Fox was once an active child psychologist with a wonderful life. But after a traumatic event almost a year ago, everything changed. She now suffers from agoraphobia. Her home is her entire world…she no longer goes outside. Anna’s life now consists of old movies, a lot of wine (and prescription pills), and online chat rooms. But she’s also found another way to spend her time…. watching the neighbors through her camera lens. She knows everyone’s schedule; she even knows who is having an affair.

Anna notices a new family has moved into the house across the street. They are the Russell’s, a married couple with a teenage son. From everything Anna has seen they look like the perfect family. But of course, looks are often deceiving. One evening, as Anna is watching the Russell house she sees something she’s was never meant to see, something horrible… and it sends her life into a tailspin.

Did Anna really see what she thinks she did or is it possible she was wrong? Could she have hallucinated or had a bad dream? She doesn’t know who she can trust. She’s positive of what she saw but can she make others believe her? And if she’s right…could she be in danger too?

To be honest, I had a hard time getting into the story at first. I wasn't connecting to the story and characters as well as many other readers did, which is fine as we won't all love the same books. I think I may have been expecting something different. I was a bit confused at times and although I eventually warmed up to the story and to Anna, it did take longer than I expected. I did enjoy the last part of the book so I am glad that I didn’t stop reading.

There were some very good twists, though I did figure out a few things ahead of time. I did like how everything came together in the end with a twist that I did not see coming.

Overall I thought this was a decent psychological suspense novel and I’m looking forward to seeing what A.J. Finn writes next.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
May 18, 2021
the woman in cabin 10. the girl on the train. the woman in the window.
what do these books have in common, other than their horribly generic titles?
they all failed to impress me. thats what.

ive recently said in a previous review that i have become extremely jaded with the whole mystery/psychological thriller genre. and the fact that this story feels like every other book i have read with similar titles is not helping. this just feels very unoriginal, very less than thrilling, very predictable. the writing is even mediocre.

i wonder if im being too picky or have too high of expectations, but im just so over the whole 'unlikable boozy unreliable female narrator' at this point. its just so overdone.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,988 followers
May 6, 2019
I suppose I did recently say it would be a long time before I read another book with "Girl" in the title. While in this case the word is "Woman", the trendy use of "Woman" in titles lately is just about as bad as "Girl", so it might as well be the same thing. Also, I have no control of when my library holds come in, so here I am reading a book with "Woman" in the title.

It is about what you would expect from the Girl/Woman genre. A topsy-turvy mystery with lots of twists and lots (and I mean LOTS) of alcohol. This mystery is an homage to the Hitchcock classic, Rear Window, as well as other noir thrillers from that time period. And, despite being a homage, it did feel like a fresh take in the Girl/Woman genre.

The writing was good and kept me interested throughout. I was engaged in trying to figure out what the heck was going on. The main character was consistently very intense and hysterical - and she kind of had a right to be. But, it kept reminding me of this classic scene from the movie Airplane because I wanted to reach into the book, grab her shoulders, and shake her yelling, "CALM DOWN!"

I did enjoy this better than some of the other books in this genre. It may not have blown me away, but it definitely didn't feel like it was leaning too hard on overdone tropes. A solid 4 star read.
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,271 reviews2,439 followers
March 9, 2023

Someone once famously told that if a book doesn't draw an emotional response, we can't call it a thriller. This is one such book that fails to evoke any emotion in us. The easiest way to write a psychological thriller nowadays is by making a psychiatrist/ psychologist the protagonist or the main villain. It is high time that the authors get out of this comfort zone and write something different instead of trying to play safe.

It is sad to see many authors trying to just copy the success of Gillian Flynn by trying to replicate her way of writing instead of trying something unique. The author tried to write this novel according to the textbook definition of a psychological thriller and made a mockery out of it despite having a fantastic plot by creating a soporific piece of didactic fiction dilapidated with myriad cliches. Multiple controversies involving the author Dan Mallory (A.J. Finn is his penname) make the situation even worse. Even though the plot was interesting, we have to conclude that this is just another poorly written book that tries to exploit our love for thrillers.

I am still eagerly looking forward to the Netflix version of it. As the plot of this book was amazing, a better screenwriter, director, and actors can create magic with this story. The people who worked behind this movie are all the best in their respective fields and have also worked for films like Gone Girl and Atonement. If the movie lives up to the hype created by its trailer, I think it will be one of those rare instances where the movie will be better than the book.

This was my second attempt trying to read this book. I did not finish this book on my first attempt as I didn't like it (DNF at 80%). In the second attempt, I somehow finished reading it. Even after two years after my first tryst with it, my opinion towards this book sadly didn’t change.

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Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,711 reviews25k followers
January 10, 2018
A.J. Finn respins a contemporary version of Rear Window set in Manhattan, New York. This dark psychological thriller has the pill taking, wine drinking, ex-child psychologist, Dr Anna Fox, residing in a three storey home that is the sum total of her world. Anna, you see, is an agoraphobic, and cannot step outside her home, she has lived like this for 10 months after a mystery trauma blew apart her world. She lost her marriage, her family and her career, although she does spend considerable time in communication with her ex-partner and her daughter, who is in his custody. Anna spends her days engaged in various activities, such as chess and learning French. She is a old black and white crime noir film aficionado, that includes watching Hitchcock movies with their motifs that spill over into Anna's actual life.

Anna gets her dose of the outside world by people watching, observing the lives of her neighbours, like the Millers, through her window with her camera. A new family moves in directly opposite Anna, Alastair and Jane Russell with their son, Ethan. One day she observes a shocking event taking place in the Russells home. However, no-one believes her, including the police, and the Russells deny the allegations. Anna is your unreliable narrator, can she really be trusted? As Anna's paranoia levels reach sky high, she finds herself in increasing danger. She finds her past history colliding in her horrifying present. This is a story of twists, short chapters, and a narrative that proves to be fast paced, full of fear, tension and suspense. An engrossing and highly entertaining read that succeeded in holding my attention throughout. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,482 reviews79k followers
September 9, 2018
I'm really torn on this one, because on one hand I was able to see all the twists coming (see Karen Brissette's review for my similar feelings on this), and it was a long book to feel entirely predictable, but on the other it was still a fun, enjoyable novel and I whole heartedly embraced the inclusion of the black and white movies and Alfred Hitchcock favorites that I grew up on. I felt neutral on the narrator here; she wasn't a long term favorite but she didn't grate on my nerves either. Overall, I would count it a success and I'm floored that this was a debut novel. Eagerly anticipating the author's next work!
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,114 followers
April 28, 2020
“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.”

This was a RIDE! And I loved it!

Dr Anna Fox is an alcoholic, agoraphobic, former child psychologist. Something happened to her which left her terrified to leave her house - but what?

She wiles away the days playing online chess, taking to fellow agoraphobics online and watching her neighbours activities from her window. Oh and drinking copious amounts of Merlot.

When she unwittingly witnesses a woman get stabbed; a woman who had just recently visited her in her house Anna naturally reports it to the police.

But no one believes her - she is written off as an unstable and unreliable source. She clearly made the whole thing up, what other explanation is there?

As Anna becomes more and more paranoid and frightened, things become stranger.

What did Anna really see? And was it the truth, or is she just on a delusional spiral?

I was gripped from start to finish - I loved Anna’s character and finding out her history. This was just an outstanding thriller, pure and simple.

“Don’t you get lonely up here by yourself?” “I was born lonely, I guess.”
December 18, 2017
I loved it! This book has restored my faith in psychological thrillers and was a solid 5 star reading experience. It’s well-written, perfectly plotted, and riveting. I had trouble putting it down and became annoyed when life interrupted my reading – it didn't feel like >400 pages and I could have happily read it cover to cover in one sitting.

Anna is a 38 year-old child psychologist with agoraphobia, who hasn’t left her home for over a year. Her husband left her some time ago, and took their 8 year old daughter with him, but Anna talks to them nightly. She spends the rest of her days and nights watching old black-and-white movies on TV, chatting and dispensing advice in an online forum, and spying on her neighbors, all while downing large amounts of Merlot with a concoction of prescription pills.

I loved the psychological aspect of the novel and being privy to Anna’s thoughts and actions as she struggled with depression and agoraphobia. I had enormous sympathy for her. One day, while spying on the neighbors across the street, Anna witnesses a crime, but, because of her alcohol and pill addiction, she has trouble getting the police to believe her – that and the fact that there is zero evidence of a crime, but compelling evidence that Anna is unstable and imagining things. In fact, Anna begins to doubt herself.

One of my favorite parts of the story was Anna’s love for old black and white classic movies, such as Rear Window, Gaslight, and Stranger on a Train, etc. Did Anna really see what she claimed happened, or is she blurring the lines between reality and what she was watching on her tv screen every night? The author does a marvelous job keeping the reader guessing. And this reader had an urge to pour a glass of Merlot and watch a Hitchcock movie ;-)

There are twists along the way, all revealed at just the right time. I appreciated that the author didn’t insult the reader's intelligence by using one particular revelation (that I had already figured out) as a 'shocking twist'. I thought it was brilliant to plant the necessary clues along the way but not until the end do we see how they all fit together. And what a surprising ending it was!

This is an amazing debut, and I’m not surprised that the movie rights have already been sold, as well as foreign publication rights. It deserves all the accolades it's receiving. I'm only sorry Hitchcock isn't around to produce and direct :-)

This was a traveling sister read and we were split down the middle on this one and you know which camp I'm in :-) The review this book and others can be found on the Sister's blog:

*Many thanks to Edelweiss, the author A.J. Finn, and William Morrow publishing for a copy of the e-galley for review.
Profile Image for Beata.
756 reviews1,157 followers
February 13, 2019
Sometimes books are not up to our expectations, and this was the case regarding The Woman in the Window and me ..... I did want to enjoy it, I really did! But I felt tired & disappointed by the story and by Anna Fox. She suffered a great loss and she had my sympathy there, however, I didn't connect to her. The story tself dragged on and on, and I actually could put this book down. In fact, I had to return it to the library, and I didn't miss it, which told me a lot about how I felt about it. I didn't miss it at all, and then, when I could finish it eventually, I did so but just out of the respect for the author .......
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews313 followers
January 15, 2018
4.5 stars!! Okay, the hype this book is getting is warranted. I usually stink at guessing the outcome of a mysterious plot, the “who done it” but I was spot on this time (yes!) and that still didn’t deter me from loving this book. The ending? CRAZY!!! P.S. Loved all the movie references!!
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,782 reviews14.2k followers
December 19, 2017
3.5 Anna Fox, now living alone in her three story brownstone, well alone that is except for Daniel, her basement tenant. Her husband and daughter, are elsewhere, though she talks to them daily. A trauma in her near past, has left her an agrophobic, subsisting on items from the internet that can be delivered. Her main activities were watching Black and White movies from old, and peering into the lives of her neighbors. It is while peering through one of these windows, that she believes she is witnessing a dangerous incident. An updated take on the movie, Rear Window, perhaps. But is she, and why will no one believe her?

The suspense and the wanting to know is a prevalent factor here. One just keeps turning the pages, it was rather engrossing, but.....the execution could have been better. There were things that bothered me, didn't make sense within the context of the novels. Some large plot points that just withered away after being so prominent, leaving me unsatisfied. Disrupted the flow of the story, and made everything that happened unbelievable. Did love the ode to the old movies though, and as I said it did draw me in, there were just a few things I could not overlook.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Holly  B .
850 reviews2,016 followers
January 2, 2018
Who's that woman in the window?

Dr. Anna Fox has spent the past 10 months inside her NY home. Her home is her safe place and she is too afraid to venture outside her door.

She entertains herself daily with the following activities:
-downing bottles of Merlot and popping pills prescribed by her physician
-following the lives of her neighbors through the lens of her camera
-playing online chess
-watching black and white films from her large collection of DVDs/mostly Hitchcock with some themes that may later be back to haunt her
-talks on the phone to her ex-husband and her daughter (who he has custody of)

This is all fine and dandy until one day while "getting to know" her new neighbors through her lens, she sees something harrowing!

So very clever!! Yet all the clues are set out if you can "catch" them!

Beware that the beginning is a bit confusing and takes awhile to set things in motion, but even with that I couldn't pull myself away from the story.

Very fast read for me! Not edge of your seat, but more like the pull of a magnet. Loved this one!

Super time reading this one with Traveling sisters!

Thanks to Edelweiss/Wm. Morrow for my arc.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,145 reviews2,760 followers
March 3, 2018
This review is a hard one for me. I struggled with the first half of the book, only to be totally drawn in by the end.

The book starts offs slowly, setting the stage. Anna Fox is a child psychotherapist who suffers from agoraphobia. As she’s trapped in her house, there’s not a lot of action to begin with. But that kind of works. But a little of that goes along way and I kept waiting for something to happen to turn up the pace.

I definitely didn’t relate to Anna, but I also had a hard time finding her believable. The idea that she’d be able to consume multiple bottles of wine at one time, on top of prescription drugs and be able to speak or walk at all seemed unbelievable. I’d be comatose, not just slurring my words. However, I didn’t think of her as a stalker or a voyeur, I didn’t find her creepy that way.

As the story goes along, I started wondering about some of the twists I assumed were coming. I correctly guessed the first big reveal well before it comes out. This book is a homage to old movies, especially Hitchcock and other film noir directors. But the movie this most reminded me of is a more recent one. I can’t name it without giving out a spoiler, which I refuse to do in a review. Flip side, I totally blew how I envisioned the ending.

Grading this is hard. The second half of the book is much more engrossing than the first. It really took a long time to grab me. The first half of the book is barely a three, the second half is somewhere between four and 4 ½ stars.

I listened to this and the narrator, Ann Marie Lee, did a great job. Her voice was a rainbow of nuances and emotions. But I’m wondering if this would have worked better as a book than as an audiobook. I find I like my audiobooks to be fast paced. I heard glimpses of good phrasing, something I always appreciate when I’m reading. Unfortunately, good writing is harder for me to appreciate when listening rather than reading. But that’s me, I’m definitely more visual than aural.
So, in the end I'm going with a 3.5 stars.

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.4k followers
January 10, 2018
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars.

Paranoia, the destroyer
Self-destroyer, wreck your health
Destroy friends, destroy yourself
The time device of self-destruction
Light the fuse and start eruption

—The Kinks, Destroyer

Reading A.J. Finn's new, much-hyped thriller, The Woman in the Window , I had lots of paranoia-related songs running through my head (including Garbage's I Think I'm Paranoid and the line from Harvey Danger's Flagpole Sitta which goes, "Paranoia, paranoia, everybody's coming to get me..."), but I felt the above lyrics by The Kinks described this book's protagonist perfectly.

Anna Fox used to be a successful child psychologist. She used to have her life together—marriage, family, career—but 11 months ago, a trauma left her with agoraphobia, so she's been unable to step outside of her New York City home all this time. She spends her days watching black and white movies, playing chess and learning French online, drinking too much while ignoring or doubling up on her meds, and counseling others like her in an online forum for people with agoraphobia.

She also has a bit of a photography habit, which stems mostly from her interest in watching what is going on outside her home, particularly in the homes of her neighbors. She's seen some pretty interesting things, including the recent afternoon activities of Mrs. Miller, who moved in across the street with her husband.

"Watching is like nature photography: You don't interfere with the wildlife."

When a new family, the Russells, move in directly across the park from her, Anna is quickly transfixed by them. They seem almost perfect—husband, wife, teenage son. She meets the son first and then the wife, and is amazed at how much she enjoys the wife's company. And then one night, as she watches through their windows, Anna sees something her eyes cannot believe. She knows it's something horrible, something she must alert the police about, and even provide help herself.

And that's the moment when everything turns upside down. Did Anna actually see anything, or was it a hallucination from her medicine or the old movies she has seen over and over again? What is she to believe, her eyes or those who tell her what her eyes have or haven't seen? What, and who, is real? Does she have anyone or anything to fear?

This is a taut thriller that definitely hooked me from the get-go. I had a lot of questions as I read, and wondered how Finn was going to bring everything together. While I felt like the book borrowed a lot from other thrillers and even some of the old movies Anna watched, the suspense definitely gets under your skin, and you absolutely want to fly through the book to see what the truth really is. Throughout most of the book, Anna feels like an old woman, but that's because of her condition. I had to keep reminding myself how old she really was.

I felt like the whole story took a little too much time to play out—there were only so many times I could handle Anna's drunken binges, her not being believed by those she trusted, and her intense paranoia, which pushed everyone away. But there are some great twists here, some I didn't quite see coming and one I suspected (which disappointed me), and much like many thrillers and crime novels, the perpetrator spends far too much time explaining themselves and their motivations.

I read a lot of thrillers so I tend to be really cynical about them. This is a good one, and I'd imagine this one is going to have many people eagerly turning the pages and staying up late because they can't get enough!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,287 reviews1,327 followers
February 3, 2018
"I am locked in. I am locked out."

Anna Fox has more intricate layers than a double-decker BLT tilting towards the mayo. Ain't no toothpick strong enough to keep this one from skidding off the plate.

Anna exists behind the shuttered doors and windows of her four-story home in New York City. Dark and dreary are the colors that paint her reclusive world both on the exterior and on the interior. Anna suffers from agoraphobia that keeps her locked in as a prisoner of her own home and of her own mind. Those mind gremlins have taken residence and Anna sedates them with plenty of prescription drugs. She sloshes around at the bottom of a Merlot bottle like an Olympic drinker.....takin' the gold every time.

Day by day she locks into perpetual viewing of old black and white movies including Vertigo and Rear Window. Her only interactions with the outside world are through weekly home visitations with her psychiatrist, her physical therapist, and her basement tenant, David. Anna is separated from her husband, Ed, and their young daughter, Olivia, which brings about a lonely, suffocating existence. Daily phone calls just don't seem to fill the void.

But one bright spot comes with Anna's monitoring of her neighbor's comings and goings. She uses her Nikon camera lens to zoom in for a closer look. Such an activity brings the outside world in and gives Anna a bit of control as to when and as to how long she wishes to view their movements. She becomes particularly attached to the Russell family across the small park.

Enter: Bizarro World in Living Color

Anna's black and white movie world will suddenly take on techno color hues. With her up-close-and-personal camera lens, Anna witnesses something horrendous happening in the Russell's home through that window. Paralyzed with fear, Anna reports it. Let's just say that no one is buying what our Anna is selling. But, you and I the readers, we know the truth. But A.J. Finn will see to it that the truth comes in variations and all sizes......

Wowzers! The movie rights have already been sold for this one. It's a winner. But I must honestly say that the pacing is all wrong. The beginning chapters are slow. We, the readers, circle around the storyline puffing up cushions trying to get comfy and ready. It's gonna take a while. Prepare for that. But then, it finally takes off. My other concern is the amount of pills and Merlot that Anna consumes on a daily basis. In the real world, she'd be face down, not breathing, and with carpet marks all over her face. I'll leave it there and hope the screen writers will nip and tuck.

I encourage you to take this one out for a test drive. Cushions propped up, you might just be in for a surprise. And no Merlot required.....

Profile Image for Gabby.
1,304 reviews27.9k followers
January 9, 2018
DNF at page 250/420
I was really excited about this book, but it ended up being very unoriginal and disappointing. I don't have the energy to write a full review, but here are some thoughts I wrote down in my notes as I was reading:

-BORING as hell
-Every scene is the main character taking pills and mixing it with alcohol when she shouldn't be
-She's an unreliable drunk narrator who is hallucinating thanks to her medication (nothing new in a thriller)
-She just keeps spying on the neighbors and never leaves her house scene after scene it's all the same
-The incident that this story revolves around doesn't even happen until page 180 ish..?
-I couldn't care less about why her husband and daughter left her
-This story could've been cut down a LOT, at least 200 pages shorter
-Predictable story, it feels exactly like The Girl On The Train with the drunk unreliable narrator spying on a couple
-WAY OVERHYPED got my expectations way too high
-The only redeemable factor is that the main character likes old movies

I was pretty bummed that I didn't like this book because so far I've heard nothing but good things - people were even saying this story could be in an Alfred Hitchcock film and that's honestly just offensive to Alfred Hitchcock. This story is nothing you haven't seen in a million other thrillers and it's extremely boring unfortunately.
Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
813 reviews3,490 followers
June 6, 2023
حختلف مع معظم الناس في تقييم الرواية دي..الصراحة هي فيلم أمريكاني هابط..اخري أشوفها فيلم في السينما وفي الغالب برده مش حيعجبني..حتي النهاية كانت شبه متوقعة..
قرايتها بالنسبه لي كانت تضييع للوقت..
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