Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window, the latest thriller to be taking the reading world by storm, had my attention, too. Which is why I went ahead and bought it, to see for myself if it was worth the hype. This is A.J. Finn’s debut novel and I knew nothing about it before I dived into it. Except that it is a thriller, of course. 🙂

The Woman in the Window is about Anna Fox, a psychologist who suffers from agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the fear of places, people, and situations that can bring on panic attacks. Anna, because of this, is confined to her house and doesn’t step out at all. She has the habit of keeping tabs on her neighbors through her camera. But when her new neighbors move in, everything is thrown around and tumbles on its head.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t like The Woman in the Window as much as I’d have liked to. And I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in this book. Every review that I’d read so far elevated this story to a level that had me intrigued to no end. Then of course, I had to go ahead and buy it, in the HUGE book haul that we had in June, along with 63 other books.

The first thing I didn’t like about The Woman in the Window is that it is repetitive in so many places that it is annoying. There are so many chunks in there that can be removed and it would still not make a difference to the storyline. Instead, it would transform the book into something much crisper and so much more fun to read. I don’t exactly hate the book, merely dislike it. But I feel it could have been so much better!

And then there is the sentence formation. I was and am so annoyed by the wannabe poetic writing in a number of places. If this was being written by someone suffering from agoraphobia, then my guess would be that they wouldn’t write like this. It’s written as if a full stop after every 3-4 words will give the text an unheard of brand of beauty. It does nothing of the sort. Instead, it looks like the author thought that readers wouldn’t understand what he is trying to say. And that grates on my nerves. Fragmented writing is not something I am a fan of.

Plus, the end. What was that all about? I felt that the end of the story could have been put in so much better a manner. But it was just a couple of pages of explanations and bam! The climax of the story was here! It’s so unfair because I was flipping the pages in the hope that a plot twist was coming soon, or the book was going to get interesting very soon. But all my hopes were dashed to the ground and I felt let down in the end.

Another thing that people have been raving about but I didn’t like as much was the reference to classic Hollywood movies. It’s not that I dislike it, but I was just indifferent to the whole ‘classic noir’ kind of vibe.

I don’t exactly want to put this book off because there are people who love it and there will be people who love it. But I’m all about putting forth honest opinions of books that I read.

Still, if you were to ask me if there was anything I liked about the book, I’d say there was. Whatever else might have annoyed me, the way the author put through the descriptions of agoraphobic behavior intrigued me. The confusion, the panic, the bits of suspense (only the little bits because I’d guessed 70% of the plot points), and the absolute chaos in Anna’s mind were the best parts of The Woman in the Window.

Yes, The Woman in the Window is a great start to A.J. Finn’s writing career, but I just hope that he only gets better with time and not get stuck in the rut that is this book’s plot and story.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Picture Courtesy: Amazon India.

Click on the image below (my Amazon Affiliate link) to buy The Woman in the Window:

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