The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn
Thirty-eight-year-old Anna Fox is the focus of this gripping novel. As the story begins to unfold, we learn that Anna lives alone in a three-story home in uptown Manhattan. At the beginning of the story, we don’t know why Anna has “chosen” this solitary life, as she speaks with her eight-year-old daughter and husband frequently. As Anna reaches back into her past we learn that there was a defining moment for her and her family that led to Anna’s agoraphobia and depression leading to her attempt at healing herself. She is phobic of going outside, so she stays inside drinking away her days. A once successful psychologist, Anna busies herself by offering psychiatric advice to members of an online agoraphobia community. She plays chess online and watches classic black and white movies to pass the time. Anna’s favorite task of late is watching neighbors through the windows of her upscale home.
When the troubled Russell family moves in across the way, Anna’s carefully constructed world gets turned upside down. On a chance encounter, Anna meets Jane Russell, mother to sixteen-year-old Ethan and wife to Paul. It is this same Jane Russell that Anna sees violently attacked while watching the family through her window. She has proof. She knows it happened, but another woman arrives claiming to be Jane Russell, and Anna’s drinking problem mixed with an irresponsible use of strong psychiatric drugs, leads to doubt from the police and Anna herself. Did she see what she thought she saw? Who is this new Jane Russell? Did the other Jane Russell even exist? Is Anna in danger? A spellbinding plot and carefully crafted story will you have you struggling right along Anna to ascertain what is real and what is not. The satisfyingly surprising ending will make it hard for you to soon forget this book.
Reviewed by Jennifer Harden, Hoyt Library