I was excited to see that my lovely friend, M, had purchased this one when she shared it in an Instagram story and I was super excited when she loaned it to me. We borrow books from one another as she likes to read almost as much as I do. I was hoping for a lot with this book and it certainly delivered. Thrilling, mysterious and a fascinating take on the genre (I’ve been calling it suburban noir which I kind of like but I’ve now seen it called a couple other things; I’ll stick with suburban noir for now).
The Woman In The Window is about a woman named Anna Fox who lives alone and never leaves her house. She stays busy watching classic movies and spying on her neighbors. She drinks a fair bit of wine and takes a variety of pills that are prescribed. Anna is agoraphobic and one of the mysteries is why/how she got that way. The other mystery has to do with what she sees one night at the new neighbor’s house. She witnesses or thinks she witnesses something terrible and it with this incident that Anna’s world starts to unravel.
As I read this book, it reminded me of a movie from years ago where Sigourney Weaver played criminal psychologist who becomes agoraphobic after being attacked by a serial killer, very well played by Harry Connick Jr. The film is called Copycat and came out in 1995 and while I don’t know the last time I thought about it, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was that made Anna an agoraphobic. I didn’t think a serial killer but it made me think throughout the book. I was looking for clues and I admit, I kind of guessed it but not the extent of it. I like that in a book. I don’t mind if I guess close to it but I still want to be surprised.
I felt that way a little bit about the other mystery in the story. There were clues along the way that made me think I was getting there but the ending wasn’t what I thought it might be. I appreciate that too as the clues hold my attention, make me think different ideas and then I’m rewarded in the end with a great ending. I stayed up late to read this one because I just had to know what happened! To Anna, about the event she sees, to the neighbours.
What I also appreciated about The Woman In The Window is that while Anna is quite clearly drinking far too much and taking prescribed medication improperly, I felt a lot of sympathy for her. I wanted to get to the bottom of the situation for her benefit as much as mine. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but sometimes in this genre, I find I really don’t like the lead character and while I get that they are supposed to be flawed, I can’t ever say I like a book when I don’t feel like rooting for the lead character in some way or another. Yes, Anna has her flaws but she was, to me, likable and one of the reasons why I enjoyed the story so much.