I don't really feel that this novel is anything really too special and I don't understand why it has appeared in the "New York Times Best Seller List" for more than thirty weeks. Maybe, its long duration in the "Best Seller List" has made me set an expectation a bit too high and this further inflated my disappointment.
There was no real "detective" in the story ! Detective Conrad Little and Detective Norelli have basically done nothing to help Dr. Anna Fox. The only "useful" function that they've had in this novel was to let the readers know that Anna's husband Ed and daughter Olivia had died in the car accident. That's a sort of surprise in the later part of the novel. But I guess some readers might have some hunch about this. At the end, it's not anyone who actually found the killer by any detective skills or logical deduction. The killer somehow came out to tell Anna what had happened. And of course, it ended with the violent struggle. So "cliché" !
The only unusual feature or "phenomenon" in this novel is Anna's "agoraphobia" that she has problem leaving her home. The pills mixing with alcohol have made her not credible and trustworthy. This is why the useless detectives had not trusted her. Naturally, the readers also don't know how much they should trust Anna. The author is using this kind of "doubt" to fool the readers and create a novel of suspense of some sort for more than four hundred pages.
As such, I don't highly regard this novel at all. From various angles, this novel is a disappointment to me. I don't even feel symathetic towards Anna whose extramarital affair with Wesley Brill ultimately getting her husband and daughter killed in the car accident. The readers didn't know about this at the beginning. After I learnt it, I dislike Anna even a bit more than before. Somehow, for me, if I don't like or feel sympathetic towards the protagonist, it's difficult for me to love the novel.
p.71 (lines 6-7), "There a reason you keep it so dark? ... " probably is missing a "is" after "There". p.233 (3rd line from the bottom), "I tense, but he's making ..." seems to miss a word like "feel" (or something like that) before "tense"....Continua
Anna Fox, PhD, is a psychologist who is afflicted with severe agoraphobia. Life in her multimillion Harlem brownstone is centred around an Internet chat room for agoraphobiacs, Internet chess matches, recorded black and white psychological thrillers, merlot and living life vicariously by looking into her neighbours’ windows, not necessarily in that order. Despite her solitary existence, she has her finger on the pulse of her neighbourhood via her powerful Nikon lenses. And the Internet provides her with a social life, making me wonder yet again what we did without it.
When the Russells move into a house across a small park, Anna quickly becomes interested in what looks to be a perfect family: father, mother and teenage son. One night changes everything when Anna sees something unexpected that turns her world on its head.
Or DOES she see something in the Russell house? Is she delusional? Do her strong psychotropic drugs washed down with ample glasses of merlot cause her mind to play tricks on her? Is she losing her mind completely? Just when I thought that I had the answers, A.J. Finn pitches a perfect curveball. I began to wonder about the state of MY mind!
I have no doubt that THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW will be a successful film. The characters, particularly Anna, are well developed, and the dialogue is well constructed and believable. Anna’s struggles with agoraphobia elicited a visceral reaction from me. My only criticism, which caused me to deduct one star, is the drawn-out ending after the ultimate secret is revealed. Despite that small flaw, A.J. Finn has written a blockbuster....Continua
From the publisher: Anna Fox lives alone - - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her days 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. Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving.
Before I begin my review, I must state that every one of those adjectives is absolutely accurate.
The novel spans a period of less than two months, with the first chapter beginning on Sunday, October 24th, and the penultimate chapter on Monday, November 15th, with each chapter (sometimes only a single page) describing events within that single day, the final chapter taking place six weeks thereafter, or just about at the end of the year. There is a lot that happens in that relatively short time.
Anna lives alone – her husband has left her, taking their teenage daughter with him. Anna – or Dr. Fox, as she prefers to be called - is agoraphobic, somewhat ironic, as many of her patients in her private practice suffer from the same malady. She herself sees a therapist on a weekly basis, whose visits are conducted at her home. So her ventures outside of the front door are minimal, to say the least. Which works out well, as she can barely open the front door at all, except to admit visitors, such as her physical therapist/yoga instructor and her therapist.
Her doctor has added some powerful psychotropics to her meds, warning her that she must not take them with alcohol, a warning which Anna ignores, to say the least, if anything increasing her use of alcohol, resulting in hangovers that are nearly disabling. (Her consumption of Merlot, e.g., becomes prodigious.) But when Anna’s constant voyeurism when it comes to her neighbors suddenly reaches a near crisis, and the woman in the window of the title describes not only Anna, but also the woman whose house is across the way, when Anna sees things that are, to say the least, very disturbing.
This novel was hard to tear myself away from, the poetic writing almost hypnotic. This is a book that stays with the reader long after the final page has been finished.