Happy Friday deerlings~ It’s the last week of the month and you know what that means? It’s book club time! If this is your first rodeo with me here, I am a member of the Paper & Glam Book Club run by the beautiful Lisamarie over at Paper & Glam. Every year twelve books are picked with some optional bonus reading and then every month readers join Lisamarie & the book chatters over on a live stream on youtube to discuss the pick of the month.
Title/Author: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
Page Count: 449 Pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller
Obtained: I borrowed a copy from my local library
GR Summary: Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day 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.
I try not to be super spoilery in these posts but since this book is a mystery it is a little hard to talk about the story without mentioning some of the twists and turns so:
WARNING | MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
Icebreaker | Now that it’s officially spring, what was the best book you read this winter?! Why should we add it to our TBR?
Even though I rated it a 4 stars, I would say the audiobook of Sadie by Courtney Summers is the best book that I’ve read this winter. It was such an experience listening to it as it is formatted in dual perspectives and timelines between a Serialesque podcast and our main character Sadie. I read this back in February and I still can’t stop thinking about it!
1 | What was your experience reading The Woman in the Window? How many glasses of merlot would you rate it? If you read Paula Hawkin’s Girl on the Train or Into the Water, how does this novel compare?
I have such mixed feelings about The Woman in the Window. I came into this novel knowing about the reveal about A. J. Finn’s history. I had already seen the article in the New Yorker and seen talks from booktuber’s who had met the author and just felt weird about it. But the book itself was so much fun. I don’t usually go for adult fiction, much less adult thrillers, but I read this in one sitting! 4 glasses of merlot for it. I feel like the payoff in this novel was better than Into the Water since I didn’t immediately guess everything that was happening.
2| What are your thoughts on the unreliable narrator as a plot device? Did you trust Anna or did you go back and forth as the book progressed?
I feel like when done well, like this book did, that the unreliable narrator trope can be great. In this novel, I knew something was off about Anna but it never made me really doubt her. And there was never a spot where I expected the truth of the reasons behind her having agoraphobia. Heck, I didn’t even expect the true villain reveal which made me a little salty cuz I didn’t see it coming.
3| What was your reaction when you found out the truth about Anna’s family?
I was so heartbroken. I was not expecting that AT ALL much less how horrible it happened. Not gonna lie, I had nightmares about that for like two days after finishing this book.
4| Were you able to predict the ending? If so, at what point were you fairly sure of the outcome?
No. And I’m upset about it! I was so undeniably fooled at every twist and turn and while it was refreshing, I’m salty about it.
5| What were the red herrings (false clues) in the book? How do they work to make the story more intriguing?
The photo sent from Anna’s phone with the email guesswho, the pearl earring on Anna’s tenant’s bedside table. There were a number of them but I didn’t keep track like a bad noodle. They really helped make it easy to get distracted by circumstantial evidence rather than what is right in front of you.
6| Have you seen any of the films that were referenced and did they help add to the suspense/mystery? If not, did they make you curious to pursue any for viewing?
I don’t really watch a ton of mystery movies, much less 1920s black and white ones but I have heard of a number of these, mainly the Hitchcock films. I felt like the descriptions of movie scenes that were shown in the novel really added to Anna’s character. Not only were they something she enjoyed from her previous life and her current one, but also served as something that potentially led to her seeming a little off kilter with the police later on in the novel.
7| Are mystery/thrillers a genre you enjoy reading? If so, what are your favorite thrillers?
Mystery/thriller novels are usually either hit or miss with me. Which is okay. Sometimes I am really in the mood for them and I’ll pick up a bunch and then there are days where I don’t even want to look at them ha.
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
- Kiss by Ted Dekker
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs
- Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Have an amazing weekend everyone & I’ll see you on Tuesday!