Give me a half decent psychological thriller with a few sharp twists and your girl is all set.
“Watching is like nature photography: You don’t interfere with the wildlife” – Dr. Anna Fox
The Woman in the Window, a Goodreads choice awards semi-finalist for best debut and best thriller/mystery of 2018 was absolutely worth the hype. Though I must say it was sort of on the lines of The Girl on the Train with an alcoholic protagonist whose words cannot be taken seriously and who herself is in some serious self-doubt. But A.J. Finn showed how excellent writing skills can almost make the reader forget that the story is also slightly based on the Hitchcock’s classic ‘The Rear Window’.
Summary of The Woman in the Window
Dr. Anna Fox, once a successful child psychiatrist, now a severe agoraphobic hasn’t stepped outside for the last 10 months. Prescription pills and alcohol don’t go together well which Dr. fox is quite aware of. Anna is quite fond of classic thriller movies which is reflected quite well in the plot. Spending most of her time drinking Merlot and on psychiatric chatrooms helping patients and watching thriller movies, provides the perfect backdrop for a mysterious murder which she happens to witness in one of her neighbourhood-spying-sessions. Oh yes! She is obsessed with the new family, Russels- The almost perfect family of three which reminded her of her own which she had almost a year ago before their separation.
One fateful night she hears a scream and witnesses something which nobody seems to believe and more so, impossible to prove. Now how will she prove herself right? And how will she help Ethan Russel who clearly is scared to his wits to stay at his own place?
Book Review of The Woman in the Window
The language Finn has used for exemplary. I’ll have to admit the story was sort of sluggish in the beginning detailing all the tiny things Anna did and her chatroom experiences. But the way the chapters have been written made it impossible to give up on the story. The one-more-chapter gene in me kicked in too often.
The story had lots of classic thriller references and the Hitchcock ones pulled some strings in my heart, being a great admirer of the Director’s work.
The conversations taking place in the chatrooms were shown in such a manner which made me feel as if I was there, texting people.
The “who dunnit” factor was strong in it. There were certain shocking twists which I DID NOT SEE THEM COMING!
The drunken episodes of Anna went quite too long in my opinion. There’s only certain amount of alcohol abuse one can take. I wanted to skip ahead those parts because I found them repetitive. Her getting drunk and then abusing prescription pills while watching a classic thriller became all too obvious for me and might have done without a few!
She felt like a ghost in her own home which was apparent from her breakdowns when she started questioning everything she has ever said or experienced or seen. I felt that the topic of mental health was given a priority and with some comical relief, the readers get to know the aspects and pains of agoraphobia.
Biggest takeaway from this book was:
1) Take your prescription pills the way your physician has prescribed
2) Alcohol and pills don’t go well together
3) Never ever trust teenage boys because they mess up BIG TIME!