My head was reeling by the time I finished reading The Woman In The Window by AJ Finn at midnight. I was not able to sleep because of the suspense, but even after finishing it off I didn't doze off. This is called a book hangover which is so common after reading an amazing book. Yes, The Woman In The Window is an amazing debut novel by AJ Finn and best psychological thriller I have read this year 2018 and soon will be converted into a movie.
Story in Brief
The story was about Anna Fox, who was a reputed child psychologist. She sits at the window of her house, sip wine (she was a heavy drinker) and peeps into the neighbors houses with the help of a powerful Nikon camera. She knows all about their routine and what was happening inside their houses. She spends some time in an Agora forum helping people suffering from Agoraphobia. She also chats with her husband and daughter over the phone. This is her daily routine and the story goes on like this.
An Unexpected Revelation
Initially it will take some time to get a hang over the story and you will be left wondering why she just stays inside her house and doesn't bother to go anywhere. Not even for groceries.
And then like a bolt from the blue, you will come to know that she was also suffering from Agoraphobia. She was house bound from last 10 months. She can't leave her house without getting a panic attack. The author has done an excellent job in portraying the trauma of an Agoraphobic. I could actually feel her suffocation and suffering whenever she had a panic attack or how is it like to live within four walls for almost a year.
In case you haven’t heard about Agoraphobia, then you can always Google to know more. Agoraphobia is a situation where the person is extremely fearful of going outside and being in public or open places. Anna Fox is an extreme and severe case of Agoraphobia. She is afraid of the sky, crowd, open space, gust of wind and
sunlight. And the author has used half of the book to bring out the shock and pain which the protagonist goes through due to her phobia and loneliness.
Your heart will go out for Anna Fox. You will both sympathize and emphasize with the character. As the story progresses, you will realize that she had endured many heartbreaks which could have torn apart a human being but she was trying to stay strong. I just fell in love with Anna Fox and her fighting spirit.
A Surprise Awaiting
A murder gives the story a mystery angle. Anna Fox witnesses the murder. She sees her neighbor Jane Russell getting stabbed. She informs the cops about it. But the investigating officer tells her that no such murder has taken place. Was she hallucinating? She was on heavy medication and taking all her medicines with wine and was watching back to back crime thriller movies. Was it possible that she had imagined the murder? Whether a murder took place or Anna Fox imagined it, is the mystery and forms the rest of the story.
There were two major twists in the story which I never saw coming and was completely taken by surprise. Again, I am new to this genre and haven’t read much. The one who are into it might have different opinion. But for me they were terrific twists with a perfect timing. There are many mysteries in the story like why Anna Fox always chat with her husband and daughter over the phone? Why don't they come to her and help her out? Why she drinks so much? How has she become a Agoraphobic? Who was this mysterious woman, Jane Russell? These mysteries will make you turn page after page for answers.
Snail Pace Narration
Being a psychological thriller, the novel was a wee bit slow, especially the first half. The author has used the entire first half for building up; first for revealing about the protagonist's situation and then for the murder. The narrative drags in between and the one who are into reading fast paced psychological thriller might find it a tad boring. But the author has tried to compensate it by adding some thrilling scenes here and there to encourage readers to keep going. So I am not complaining.
Great Writing Style
I loved the freshness and maturity in his descriptive writing style. He creates each and every scene with minuscule and precise description and details that you will feel transported to the site of action. Like the author Arundhati Roy, even AJ Finn has a powerhouse of vocabulary and knows the right combination of words to create perfect visualistic scenes.
And I absolutely loved his idea of spying into the neighbor's house sitting by the window. We all must have done it some time in our life to secretly catch a glimpse of our neighbor’s house.
You are a hard core psychological thriller fan or a newbie like me, I would recommend this book for the extraordinary writing style of the author who has penned the story in a most visualistic manner. The entire story takes place in a house yet the author has so much to describe. To make us aware about the situation like Agoraphobia. And I absolutely adored Anna Fox. She is so vulnerable due to her phobia, she lives all alone, yet she is so strong. The idea of suicide never crosses her mind.
Looking forward to read more such fantastic thriller from his pen which will keep us on tenterhook.
More about the author AJ Finn
I don’t know how many of you might know, but AJ Finn himself suffered from agoraphobia and depression. That could be one reason how he managed to write so convincingly about the panic attacks and trauma which Anna Fox goes through.
He also shares that once he was sitting in the living room and was furtively looking into the living room of a neighbor across his house. It is from there he got the whole idea of a woman sitting in the window.
The author has 10 years of experience in publishing industry and specializes in thrillers and mysteries. His experience was of great help while penning his first novel The Woman In The Window.
The Woman In The Window has released in 44 countries. The book is currently in development as a major film at Fox 2000, starring Amy Adams, directed by Joe Wright, written by Tracy Letts, and produced by Scott Rudin. The movie will be released on October 4th, 2019.
The Women in the Window
My head was reeling by the time I finished reading The Woman In The Window by AJ Finn at midnight. I was not able to sleep because of the suspense, but even after finishing it off I didn't doze ...
- Story Line★★★★★
- Writing Style★★★★★