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The woman in the window [book club kit]
2018
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New York Times Review
A damsel in distress can be a poor narrator. How to convey the magnitude of her troubles without letting her descend into irritating selfpity? Finn tackles this contradiction brilliantly, especially given his agoraphobic heroine's situation. Anna Fox is confiding and breezy, but not brittle. The conversations presented here as amusing really do amuse. Yet the fear is always there. Anna, a gentrifier in Harlem, spends a lot of time watching old movies and looking out her window. Separated by her illness from her husband and daughter, she's alone nearly all the time. But since she's a trained psychologist, she has eased into helping fellow sufferers online. Perky with her clients, she's less so in her asides to the reader, especially when she's rattling off the names of all the pills she adds to her incessant wine drinking. Eventually, Anna trains her professionally keen attention on some of her neighbors, members of a family that has moved into a townhouse across the way. As, one by one, they start to visit her, disturbingly different versions of their lives are on offer. Sometimes "The Woman in the Window" seems like a freshly warped version of an old mystery play, with its repeated entrances and exits on a single stage. Late at night, awash in pills and alcohol, Anna is sure she has seen a stabbing. Finn signals a key development ahead of time, but that doesn't soften the punch when it comes. Plenty of revelations ensue, and as they pile up the reader feels them right along with Anna.
Library Journal Review
DEBUT Likened to blockbusters by Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, and Ruth Ware-and billed as the breakout book of 2018-Finn's debut lives up to the hype. The title, also the name of a 1944 film noir, refers to both the protagonist, Dr. Anna Fox, and the horrific scene she witnesses from her kitchen window. An agoraphobic and former child psychologist, Anna spends her days in her Harlem brownstone drinking Merlot by the case, watching old black-and-white mysteries, and spying on her neighbors. Her latest obsession is the new family across the park, the Russells. The trio-a husband, wife, and teen son-remind Anna of her own husband and young daughter, who no longer live with her. Anna's peeping soon reveals what she's positive is a murder and hasty cover-up. But no one-including the police-believe the ravings of a hermit who consistently mixes prescription medication with large doses of alcohol. VERDICT With overt and subtle references to classic thrillers from Hitchcock to Polanski, Finn, a pen name for William Morrow executive editor Dan Mallory, crafts a tightly coiled tale that will keep fans of the genre guessing. A riveting and mature first novel that stands out in a crowded genre. [See Prepub Alert, 7/3/17.]--Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Child psychologist Anna Fox, the unreliable narrator of Finn's gripping first novel, lives out one of the classic films that she loves so well-Hitchcock's Rear Window. In this modern update, the agoraphobic Anna hasn't left her Manhattan townhouse in more than 11 months. When she's not observing the neighbors and photographing them with her digital camera, she's watching movies, playing chess, and counseling other agoraphobics via an online forum. Then her obsession with the new family across the park begins to take over. When Anna witnesses a stabbing in their house, no one believes what she saw is real-and it's entirely possible that Anna shouldn't believe it herself. The secrets of Anna's past and the uncertain present are revealed slowly in genuinely surprising twists. And, while the language is at times too clever for its own good, readers will eagerly turn the pages to see how it all turns out. This highly anticipated debut has already received endorsements from such notables as Gillian Flynn and Louise Penny. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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