“The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn


asteriaiconThis was another book that appeared all over my Instagram, and I had read online that this was to be the best book of the year. There was a quote on the back by Stephen King, and it had a ton of 5 star reviews on Goodreads, so I signed up for it at the library to see what the fuss was about. How can you go wrong when the great King himself endorses the book!?

Anna Fox is a child psychologist, who happens to suffer from agoraphobia.  She has been an agoraphobic for about ten months due to some trauma, but tries to help others with the same affliction through online counseling. She drinks a lot of wine, takes a lot of medication, and seems rather lonely. She talks daily with her husband and daughter, who appear to be estranged, yet oddly close. In her spare time, she uses her Nikon camera to watch her neighbours comings and goings, imagining personal aspects of their lives. One day, the Russel’s move into the neighbourhood and Anna seems transfixed by them. That is, until she sees someone being murdered in their house. Anna calls the police, but no one will believe the agoraphobic alcoholic. Was it real or did she hallucinate the whole thing?

I wanted to like this book, but I was just so disappointed in it. Stephen King called it original, but I found it to be very much in the vein of Girl on the Train – not very original at all!

I enjoyed reading a story with an unreliable narrator. Anna takes anti-psychotics and anti-depressants that have side effects with alcohol, like hallucinations. But it is unfortunate to read through the eyes of a predictable unreliable character. By page 150, I had figured out why she suffered from agoraphobia, even though that was a rather big reveal later on in the book.  I had figured out about 80% of the ending halfway through the book, the 20% being unsure of whether Jane was real or not. The story was predictable and suffered from some terrible cliché’s…of course there is going to be a thunderstorm right at the big finale! I couldn’t help but roll my eyes!

The book was a very easy read. I was done all 427 pages in 5 hours…no small feat for me, but I found myself skimming a lot. Sure, it was pretty fast paced, and hard to put down, but it just didn’t live up to the expectation, and certainly to me will not be on my list of best books of the year! Based on the back cover, this is heading to the big screen, and I think I can safely say this is a movie I am going to pass on! I keep trying to read new and popular books to stay “relevant” but they all seem to be failing me.  Everyone seems to be trying to be the next Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. Where are the unique and original storylines??

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