Primary Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Published: 2 January 2018 by William Morrow
Page count: 429
My Format: Audiobook via Overdrive
Pacing: Ok, a little slow/repetitive
Would I recommend it: Maybe
Commission Link: Buy The Woman in the Window
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
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, 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.
I am surprised I didn’t enjoy this book more considering the multiple 4- and 5-star reviews it has received. Here are my pros and cons for The Woman in the Window:
- I loved all the film noir and classic thriller references. It makes me want to go find some old movies to watch!
- I loved the set-up, the unreliable narrator aspect, and the agoraphobia angle. I thought these were good mixes for a decent thriller. While I had some issues with certain elements in the plot (i.e., the excessive drinking – See Con #3), overall I thought it had a decent foundation.
- In spite of Con #1 below, there was one twist at the end I didn’t see coming. So, since there was at least one plot element I didn’t predict correctly in advance, it increased my enjoyment of the book at least a little bit since I was finally surprised with something (albeit at the very end).
- I figured out way too much of this “mystery” before the reveals occurred so the intended shock value was more of a fizzle. That always ruins a book for me. I even figured out why Anna was separated from her husband almost from the very start of the novel.
- So, Anna looks out her window at her neighbors and occasionally she uses her camera to zoom in on things and people to see them better. She was using her camera when she witnessed the thing that she shouldn’t … AND SHE DIDN’T TAKE A SINGLE PICTURE!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? She has mental health issues… she’s not stupid! I’m not even buying that she was too intoxicated or shocked to take a picture. I think she would have instinctively snapped a photo! I’m just not buying it.
- I get the emotional and mental health issues of the novel, but I am not sure I’m buying that Anna would continuously drink wine (too much wine!) while on the medications she is prescribed. She’s a doc for heaven’s sake – emotional/mental health issues aside, the excessive drinking felt like a ridiculous and forced circumstance simply to make us question her sanity.
- OMG! Glue that phone to her hand! No one on the planet loses their phone as much as Anna does!!!
- The characterization of the female cop was way over-the-top and completely ridiculous. I get the good cop/bad cop thing, but she was just mean and rude for no good reason.
- I thought the story dragged a bit. It felt overwritten at times and tended to be a bit repetitive.
I feel like I have read this story before. I know I have seen this movie before and the author makes sure you know which movies he is “borrowing” from throughout the entire novel. I didn’t find the story particularly original. It also took me 9 days to finish this book! 9 days! That is like 3 months compared to how quickly I normally read books. The story never grabbed me or kept me interested and I just didn’t focus on it much.
All of that said, I don’t think the story was horrible, just flawed. And, of course, that is simply my opinion. As I said above, there are a lot of people out there that loved this book, so if you are interested definitely read it for yourself.
I will finish with saying that this book has been made into a movie and the expected release date (according to IMDB.com) is May 15, 2020. I will watch the movie at some point, mainly out of curiosity. I like to see if things I didn’t like in a book are carried over into the movie versions or if they are changed. Although rare, I have actually seen movies that I think are better than the book! We’ll see on this one. 🙂
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy The Woman in the Window. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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(image from Goodreads)