It’s a snow day here in the suburbs of Chicago–and the city itself for that matter. At first this morning, I was underwhelmed. They had predicted 8-12 inches with 9 inches by morning. I woke up to 5. But the snow was also supposed to stop sometime this morning and it’s been snowing pretty steadily all day and still has a couple of hours to go. We might just get our 9 inches!
I didn’t realize just how snowed in we are until my husband went to take the kids sledding and had to push not one but two cars down the street for drivers who are stuck. So, I guess it’s not a great day to go out.
So what better day to blog about a book that centers on recluse stuck in her home?
The Woman in the Window was my Book of the Month selection for January. It is also my book club’s selection for February. Which is surprising only because this is one of those books that marketer’s promote by saying, “if you liked Girl on a Train…” and many ladies in my book club did not only not like Girl on a Train, but they openly despise the book.
I did rally, since the book was already sitting on my side table at home just waiting to be read and we don’t always do a lot of suspense (see Girl On a Train hatred mentioned above). It will be fun to discuss this book. I’m skeptical to see if the GOAT (well, that’s kind of funny) haters liked this one.
From the Publisher:
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.
I read a lot of these types of books. Like a lot. From the get-go, just reading the description, it seemed that this book was definitely a little meatier than your usual psychological suspense thriller. And I do think it held up to that.
The book was compulsively readable. Like I couldn’t put it down. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that it is really well written and that the chapters are so short. There are 100 chapters. I wonder if that means something to the author? And I’m not sure why that made it so readable, but it really did.
Second, the book is really well written. Which isn’t surprising, given the author, A.J. Finn (pseudoynm) is actually Daniel Mallory, an executive editor at the book’s publisher, William Morrow. It’s also interesting to note that the author’s bio says he lived in England for ten years before returning to his native New York. The book, while it takes place in New York City, definitely had a bit of a British feel to it for me.
The third element of the book I really enjoyed is that he did have a grip on what someone who is agoraphobic and depressed might really be feeling. I’m not an expert in this area, but I have dealt firsthand with depression in loved ones and sometimes, if an author hasn’t personally dealt with these issues, they just don’t ring true on paper. I read in the Washington Post that the author has battled depression. And while I am very sorry for his struggles, they do enhance that aspect of the book for me.
BTW, the Washington post said in their glowing review that The Woman in the Window, “lives up to the hype.”
There’s a lot more I could say, that I will say when my book club discusses the book (given that they have all read it?) But I don’t want to ruin the book for you. It’ll say it’s a solid psychological thriller that will keep you guessing, even if you think you have it figured out.
Really just perfect for those who loved Girl on a Train.🙂
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