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Spoiler: I had no idea her husband and daughter died. Author did a great job concealing that from the reader. Question: So, did Anna have sex with her tenant, David, or was that just a delusion? Comment: I think Ethan was right - Anna wasn't that astute. Probably the combo of drugs & alcohol clouded her judgment because half the time I was wondering: What is she thinking??
Was very disappointed by this. Didn't hate it but I was bored throughout most of it and could not stand our main character or anything she did. The final plot twist was predictable, however there were certain pieces to it (spoiler) like when that agoraphobic woman Anna had been talking too turned out to be the murderer, I did not see that coming. Good plot, but overall was not super into it.
I absolutely loved this book ! Only took me 3 days to read it. I love how the story is taken slow and really builds up to the twist and turns at the end. You really end up knowing the main character, Anna. If you sit back in a quiet place and read its almost as if you become Anna. Very detailed and allows you to create the image in your head.
I was expecting an on-the-edge thriller but found this book to be rather anti-climatic. It was like being on a slow rollercoaster where you know there are twists and turns ahead but by the time you reach them...the excitement has already passed.
I did not find any characters to be very likable. I think the book would be more enjoyable if Anna was more relatable.
The twists in this story were good but the pace of the story made those twists less shocking.
When I finished this novel a few months ago, it was during the time when BOTM decided to takeaway the discussion boards, which devastated me, especially after reading this mind boggling thriller. I'm forever grateful that the discussion boards have been restored!!
Despite having a hunch that something may have happened to Olivia and Ed, I wouldn't have guessed that they died, let alone had such traumatic deaths. I can't say I would have been as psychologically messed up as Anna over this traumatic experience, but I my life would've forever changed.
I loved this story. It has quickly become one of my favorite psychological thrillers. I still can't believe Ethan was behind everything and that his family would go so far as to cover up his murders, like murdering someone wasn't a big deal - it's a huge deal for anyone, especially a seventeen year old boy. Good to see others enjoyed this as much as I did!
Anyone else notice this? I canâ€™t get over this huge oversight in the first pages of this book. The woman in the window mentions checking her neighborâ€™s Facebook page and wedding registry but on the very next page she says she can only guess at her name? How is that possible?
Unlike some reviewers, I actually really enjoyed this book. I thought it was well-written and very engaging. I sped through it and found it to be a fast and entertaining read. While I did find it extremely predictable, I thought that had to do with several factors: One, the reveal that Anna's family had died was by far the easiest twist to call (almost from jump), although I wonder if I was primed for this by reading one of the books from last month, which had almost the exact same twist done in the exact same way. It also became very obvious to me that Ethan was not the perfect angel Anna thought he was and I had very strong suspicions that he was the real killer. My suspicions were confirmed once Punch was limping around - psychopaths start hurting animals when they're young as Anna remarks. Like other readers, I also knew GrannyLizzie was going to be involved somehow because otherwise her inclusion in the story would have been pretty useless.
But despite how predictable the plot was, I still very much enjoyed the actual reading of the book. I liked how it had ties to Rear Window without it totally copying it. I feel like this book did what The Chalk Man tried and failed to do - TCM was so focused on emulating Stephen King that it ended up being a cheap imitation that fell flat for me, but TWITW was able to draw inspiration from Hitchcock without feeling like it was desperately copying him.
I also feel like mental illness was handled better here than in some other thrillers I've read recently. As someone who actually suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, I found the descriptions of Anna's agoraphobia and anxiety to be pretty accurate. I do think that the Woman Who Drinks Too Much trope is overdone now though and I think the book could have easily done the "unreliable narrator" thing without it. Especially because having extreme anxiety can sometimes effect things like perception and memory. Just having Anna mixing pills and being agoraphobic would have been realistic enough; the drinking issue feels very worn-out at this point.
This book wasn't perfect but it was definitely a fun read and I've heard they're turning it into a movie. It was written very cinematically - I'm sure this was the author's intention. I'd be curious to see the cast. I could see an Anna Paquin or Brie Larson-type playing the lead.
So, unlike many of the other readers who posted, I really enjoyed this book. I was immediately drawn to this book when the judge said it's reminiscent of Hitchcock's Rear Window. As a huge Hitchcock fan, I loved all the allusions to his films throughout this novel. The novel really united my love of reading with my love of old noir films (like Anna). Furthermore, I loved the twists in this novel. Although some were a little predictable, one twist I did not foresee was the revelation that Ed and Olivia died in the accident. I actually had to put the book down and collect myself because I was crying so much when Detective revealed this news. I assumed Ed and Olivia were living away from Anna and did not visit her because of two reasons: I assumed Anna had an affair so that is why Ed and her were separated and I reasoned that Ed did not want Olivia around Anna while she was trying to get over her agoraphobia and alcoholism. However, after this revelation, I felt like all the other twists didn't pack as great as a punch (meow, sorry for the pun). Like others, I assumed GrannyLizzie was someone involved, but I wasn't sure it was Ethan. I thought David would have had more to do with the murder/cover up. Lastly, I did feel that the rooftop scene could have been written better. I found myself skimming it just to see if Anna survived, even though it was hard to imagine she overtook young, male, crazy Ethan. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the style it was written in. I felt the short chapters made it a quicker read.
I found The Woman in the Window enjoyable. However, I did guess the plot twists of the affair, Ed and Olivia actually being dead, and GrannieLizzie being tied into who the culprit was. Did anyone else find Anna super annoying at times?
This book frustrated me from its portrayal of mental illness. In full disclosure, I am a non-clinical psychologist, so I have some working knowledge of mental illness and its effects on individuals. This book made me roll my eyes HARD at the revelation that Ethan had a personality disorder. I can understand that Anna had extreme psychological distress after losing her family but the author really laid it on thick: agoraphobia, PTSD, alcoholism, prescription drug abuse. I could not figure out why her psychiatrist continued to prescribe her medications in such large quantities - this seems to me like negligence on his behalf. I can't help but think how the plotline would have been affected had Anna been sober throughout the book. Isn't it possible she still might have doubted what she had seen? As far as eyewitnesses go, humans are pretty poor at remembering clear detailed information from traumatic events. And what did it gain the book by making Ethan have a personality disorder? I feel like this whole book plays off the stereotypes of people with mental illness. If you have agoraphobia you must be crazy. If you take psychiatric medications you must be completely dependent on them to the point of abuse. If you have a personality disorder you must be a murderer. Also, is it possible Anna had ZERO family or friends? Maybe I missed this in the book, but it really didn't mention her parents or siblings. Shouldn't they have been involved after her husband and daughter died?
I believe that this book may have been an enjoyable read for someone who hasn't read a psychological thriller in a while. But, if you read these kinds of books frequently on your own, then you may be disappointed with the conclusion of the book. From the beginning, you know that Anna either imagined the whole stabbing event (that would be a terrible ending) or that it really did happen. And if it did happen, there were only a few cast of characters who could have done it, so at the end, it was easy to guess the killer through the process of elimination. I really wanted to like this book and it was really well reviewed ... but, for me, this one goes back to the bookshelf without another thought.
This is the story of a drunk woman even more insufferable than Rachel in Girl on the Train. Anna wants to get sober after a traumatic incident, but is incapable. Her constant flip-flopping between needing a drink and wanting to be lucid made ME insane. "I need a clear head. I need to focus." "This would be easier with a drink." "Merlot will help." What?!
Many scenes were written in such a poetic way that it turned me off. I can't stand writers that try to be overly descriptive when it adds nothing to the story. Plus, there were too many play-by-plays coupled with incomplete sentences. "I reach for the door. Unlock it. Twist the knob. Breatheâ€”one, two, three, four. Open the door. Light coming in." Blah, blah, blah. I wonder how many pages could have been shaved off if Finn got more to the point.
There were a few things I couldn't get past.: 1) I'm in NYC every single day. People don't just leave all their blinds and curtains wide open for the world to take a look inside their homes.; 2) Anna spends her entire day on the internet and never had a connectivity issue. The photo attachment from firstname.lastname@example.org loading with the slowness of a dial-up service for suspense was a joke.; 3) David's attraction to Anna made no sense. Sure, they were drunk, but to go from their first ever lengthy chat to SEX IN HER DEAD DAUGHTER'S BED makes no sense and was a stretch for the story.
Speaking of the dead daughter, that was not a shock. Nothing felt right about Olivia and Ed never visiting her (no contact rule? Okay). Speaking to your estranged husband on the phone every other day like nothing happened also didn't seem right. Totally called that affair with Dr. Brill.
This utterly long drag of a story made the reveals near the end (who the woman in the window really was and that it was the real Jane Russelâ€”no, surprise! ETHAN!â€”who killed her) have no impact on me. I was too drained and bored by that point to care. Him actually being GrannieLizzie was no surprise. Grannie's replies to Anna always had an inorganic quality about them that I knew it was a coverup. I zoned in and out during the rooftop fight that took place during a storm. How original! Anna was able to take out big, scary, "very bad" Ethan with a story about who his father was. Riveting psychology on Anna's part. Cue eyeroll.
I'm baffled by the love for this book. I was so glad to finally put it down for good.
Maybe I'm just a weirdo.... The book ties up everything, but leaves me wondering what happened to Punch?! Ha!
Today, I came across a review for the Woman in the Window. It does not appear to give away any big spoilers. It does have some interesting information about the author: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/books/review-woman-in-window-a-j-finn.html
I am about 150 pages into this book and so far it has been a pretty good read. Admittedly, I know NOTHING about Noir films and some of the references are a bit lost on me. I also am having a hard time reading about Anna's continued self-destruction: the drugs, the alcohol. Will she not learn? Also, I am curious as to why Anna's daughter never seems to visit her. I have not yet gotten to the bottom of the events that drove Ed and the daughter from the house, but I believe I am getting close.
I am excited to see how the book ends and hope it does not disappoint!
Anyone else have first impressions to share?