Late December 2017, there was a lot of hype surrounding a bestseller must-read book, “The Woman in the Window” written by A.J Finn. I was, of course, intrigued.
About the author
According to his profile on HarperCollins, AJ Finn is a New York native who has previously written for numerous prestigious publications. A Google search will provide a little more information. AJ Finn is actually a pseudonym or pen name for Daniel Mallory, an Oxford graduate and former book critic. The Woman in the Window is his first novel. It was determined an instant bestseller. Movie rights had already been sold by the time I got my copy.
A snapshot of the book
A thriller, The Woman in the Window, catalogs the thoughts and actions of psychologist Anna Fox. Fox loves black and white classical movies, a passion that she once shared with her husband. Now Fox lives by herself, trapped by a fear of the outdoors and physically separated from her husband and daughter. Though she maintains a long distance relationship talking to them almost daily, she yearns to be closer. And so, struggling with that depression, she spends her days mixing a dangerous concoction of wine and pills. Depression is but one aspect of her mental health struggles.
Anna has Agoraphobia, a fear of public places. And so she’s become an almost involuntary prisoner of her own home. Lonely, alone, locked inside her own mental health struggles, she finds meaning by spying on the lives of her neighbors, a voyeuristic occupation which she discusses often in daily conversations with her husband. And then one day, she witnesses what she believes to be a murder at her neighbor’s house. Except, when she reports the matter to the police, no one believes her.
The movie, produced by Fox 2000 Pictures, comes out in 2019.
This book was tension filled and with twists and turns that I could not anticipate. I bought the book because of the voyeuristic nature of the story. The title by itself and the cover design spoke to the tendency we often each have to peer into the lives of others without ever daring to similarly analyze our own.
Anna ‘s story was as ironic as it was endearing and sad. She was or should have been a successful doctor, a psychologist, but she too had mental struggles that she could not overcome. She should have been able to analyze the people she met, but she misread signs dreadfully and ultimately almost paid for that with her life.
The more I read the book, the more fascinated I became. AJ Finn had given a humanness to this form mental illness, making the doctor sad if not endearing, so that when the story twists and the sub-plot- the story of her sassy daughter and long-suffering husband, is brought forward from the periphery of the overall story itself, it is very easy to walk with Anna and feel deeply the pain of her loss.
I loved the twists and turns of this book and I would love to see how this is represented on film.
I look forward to more books by AJ Finn. In the meantime, I’ve learned to keep my blinds tightly shut.