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The Woman in the Window

A Novel
Written by: A. J. Finn
Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
4 out of 5 stars (434 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing." (Gillian Flynn)

"Unputdownable." (Stephen King)

"A dark, twisty confection." (Ruth Ware)

"Absolutely gripping." (Louise Penny)

For listeners of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade's most anticipated debuts, to be published in 36 languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: A twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn't paranoia if it's really happening....

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, mother, their teenaged 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.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

Bonus: Includes an interview with author A. J. Finn.

©2018 A. J. Finn, Inc. (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What the critics say

"Narrator Ann Marie Lee delivers the tightly wound heroine with precision... Lee makes Anna's struggle to remain sane in an insane world moving and believable." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator makes this one a challenge

There is an earlier review titled "Hysterical and grating" and I couldn't agree more. The main character has her issues, but the narrator really makes her even more unsympathetic and irritating. The story itself was decent, and is the only reason I didn't return the book. However, the narrator really made it hard to want to come back for a listen. I strongly encourage you to preview the book before buying. Maybe buy a hard copy instead.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Goof story. Horrible narration.

The story is rather interesting. A good psychological thriller, with greats elements to it.

However, the narration is terrible. The lady who’s narrating it is really hard to listen to- everything is being described as if she’s sobbing. High pitched pleading tone, which I could barely tolerate. Ugh!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Helpless, hysterical and simpleminded woman trapped in a house

I suppose the title says if all. A woman suffering from alcoholism, depression and anxiety disorders decides spies on the neighbourhood. Agoraphobia is being presented strictly as being unable to leave the confines of your home. A psychologist that can't help herself in any way. I wish her self destructive behaviour was explored a bit more passed the, oh no a problem or provoking thought, better have some Merlot and mix it with a bunch of pills. I don't see her being a very smart woman but I don't think you are capable of seeing that in the mind of a frantic alcoholic and drug abusers.
The twists didn't surprise me as I feel like they were pretty obvious. The book almost seem more fitted as a movie. If it wasn't an audiobook I probably wouldn't have finished it.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Hysterical and Grating

As a woman I’m offended by the stereotypes presented in the book. Main character is unsympathetic, more just pathetic. The narrator was terrible and overly dramatic and her portrayal was grating on my nerves. Returned the book.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating-

Finn perfectly captured my interest with a fantastic portrayal of characters, and submersing me in ambient detail; and let me tell you, I did NOT see that ending coming. One thing I unfortunately could not get past (the reason I gave 4 instead of 5 stars) was the way the police had reacted. Was very thin line, and I could not see any type of law enforcement reacting the way they did.
Other than that, and amazing read! I look forward to reading more from A J Finn.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring and too Drawn out

This story was BORING and it dragged on and on. I patiently listened and hoped the storyline would pick up, but sadly it didn’t. By the time the “mystery” is revealed, you no longer care. I wouldn’t recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Like nails on a blackboard

Narrator’s voice grates as she tries to navigate the horrendous, artless and childlike prose. “I gasped. He gasped”. “I walked. I saw.” Excruciatingly long. I can’t stand annoying, stupid and bumbling heroines, especially written by male authors. Very overrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kept me on the edge of my seat

Wow...couldn't stop listening...usually just listen on my drive to work..but kept it going at my desk...had to know outcome...definitely had me fooled..wonderful book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good reading, okay story.

The reading was well done, the story was just okay. There was an obscene amount of metaphors used that got really tiresome. Not everything needs to be described with 10 adjectives... Not all doors need to "yawn" open.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam
  • 2018-12-05

Dragged on + the plot twists were too much

Its good and I'd still recommend anyone wanting to hear the story it to give it a listen. I jut found that there were too many plot twists that it made me roll my eyes, I wasn't expecting it but this book could have been cut in half. it drags on an unnecessary amount

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan Olson
  • 2018-06-02

STAY AWAY!!!

I am a DIE HARD Audible listener and almost always give 5 stars without reviews. if I can save one person from having to endure this boring, sappy narration that I will have done someone justice. The 'psychological thriller' disappoints, the narrator's airy voice for the main character grinds on your nerves and the story goes on and on and on. Look for something else.

810 of 850 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Debra
  • 2018-01-12

An excruciating listen.

After about 90 of the 100 chapters and 10 hours into this book, it took all the willpower I had not to walk away. I was determined to finish it. Every chapter, scene, event, sentence and thought is belabored and drawn out WAY past what is bearable to the listener. Even increasing the narration speed didn’t help. The protagonist. who I believe was supposed to be a sympathetic character, was unlikeable and her own worst enemy. Over eleven hours and 100 chapters evolved into a ridiculous implausible ending with no pay off. Thank GOD it’s over!

1,035 of 1,087 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • jh1234
  • 2018-01-04

Forced, Purple, Slow, and Old Fashioned

I can't fathom how this book garnered so many positive pull quotes. At best, it's a passable read. I didn't hate it, but I didn't look forward to entering the story. It was so very over-written. More adjectives than necessary, so very many metaphors. Despite being trapped in the narrator's head, she doesn't feel like a real person. She feels like a vehicle for noir references and vague statements meant to pass for suspense. It's just not very good.

In short, I can't recommend. This is one of those books that over-promises with its marketing and under-delivers with its content.

320 of 339 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mel
  • 2018-01-18

Surprising -- not so much the book as the reviews!


When first considering this purchase I looked at the reviews posted here and noticed how heavily weighted those reviews were on both ends of the spectrum. It was either *Wow,* *Best of the Year,* or *Horrible,* *Couldn't Finish,* *Worst,* -- not much likemindedness or midsection. Jump to: I bought, I listened, then I tried to balance those incongruities with my own experience with this book.

In my opinion, this is a solid middle ground read that requires a commitment to stick with the first 1/2 of the book and pay close attention to the groundwork being put down. This book begins not at the beginning of this story, but somewhere in the middle, the literary term *in media res.* With this approach, expect that the author is going to fill in the backstory as the novel progresses. Attention! What some listeners may have thought was slow or boring is the current lattice-like foundation that is constantly being filled in, so it's important to listen and fill in behind you, as well as keep an eye forward. You could say that the story literally sneaks up on you. Another factor in this novel: the narrator's reliability... let's just say it's impaired. The listener needs to THINK about what is going on with our narrator; take her observations with her condition(s) in mind. She's not exactly giving us misinformation -- you just need to be an investigative listener. You need to see through her *condition* and not dismiss this wounded narrator as unreliable. Let's just say she's NUI...narrating under the influence or NWI, narrating while intoxicated.

Anna Fox, our narrator, is a former child psychologist that has recently suffered a severe trauma. What we know for certain is that because of the trauma she has PTSD and additionally has developed acute agoraphobia, seriously restricting her connections to the outside world. Even an open door or window sets her off. The author has used a formidable backdrop for the story, setting Anna in an affluent area of the city in a 5 story multi-million dollar home that she once shared with her ex-husband and young daughter Olivia -- both of whom she still speaks to regularly on her phone. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Fielding, and a friendly physical therapist visit Anna in her home once a week. Her meals and groceries are routinely delivered to her, as are a bushel basket of prescription medications, and a standing order from the liquor store for an impressive amount of wine. She has also recently taken in a nice looking male tenant that occupies the lower floor of her sprawling home.

Anna/Dr. Fox moves through her dark house mindlessly, usually wandering about in her robe with uncombed hair and the soundtrack from a constant stream of old black and white movies (specifically thrillers) plugged into her TV. Seated at a window, she looks out at the surrounding neighborhood from behind her camera and zoom lens. She focuses in on a home where a ladies' book club meets, following along with the monthly reads. She is particularly interested in watching a beautiful home across the park that has had several owners lately. She watches them come and go, daily routines, a woman doing yoga, a husband approaching the front door while the wife's lover goes out the back, the cost of the home each time as the housing market rises. [Are you possibly thinking Rear Window right now?] When she's caught observing (*spying is such a harsh word) she puts down her camera and goes to her computer. She connects with a support group (her name is *thedoctorisin*), she studies French, and she plays online chess. But in her safe cocoon, it's her movies that she uses to escape her thoughts, repeatedly watching favorites in her vast collection while she guzzles bottles of red wine and gulps handfuls of the medications she keeps on the table in front of the TV. You'd think a doctor would know better, but she forgets.
The author skillfully uses the noir movies to blur the lines of reality for both Anna and the reader. Bits of dialogue slip into Anna's conversations and thoughts. When she catches herself she wonders if those are her own reflections or something from the scene in a movie. ??Isn't that what Bogie said to Bacall in To Have and Have Not? Wasn't that a line from Dial M for Murder, or Rebecca?? Then one day, an unknown teenager rings her doorbell.

Unfortunately, the author takes several hundred pages filling the listener in. But, if you can hang in there and really participate in this listen, it is enjoyable and more than averagely clever. The author has an impressive knowledge of old films and uses the references to color the story with an atmosphere that is really unique and fun. He might try a little too hard to shake you off track, and if you've figured it out, the ending might feel a little anemic, but overall I found the journey entertaining, and this an intelligent debut novel from the author.
Fans of old B & W movies will have a leg up on other listeners and might especially enjoy this.

You just might find yourself asking, *Which woman, and from what window,* instead of relying on what you assumed was a given from the title of this novel. Nothing here should be assumed, nor is anything exactly *reliable.*

863 of 929 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • camilla stewart
  • 2018-01-07

How did this get rave reviews??

I downloaded this book after reading rave reviews from authors I love. How? This story is incredibly slow, the lead is very hard to like, the plot is less than believable, and the endless old movie quotes are distracting and hard to follow. Some people are clearly loving this story, and maybe you’ll be one of them? I wish I had read some of the negative reviews. Total waste of a credit for me.

Also, a note about the narrator... although I enjoyed her the character she is supposed to be portraying is 38, but the narrator has a very mature voice (60’s?) and I couldn’t ignore that.

248 of 271 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • cindy
  • 2018-01-05

Over the top narration

The storyline is decent
I enjoyed the many references to noir films
Being an old movie buff myself
There were a few surprises, unfortunately, I had them figured out.
I did, however, have a real issue with the narration
Would have much preferred just a reading of the story not such an over the top dramatization
Almost stopped listening a few times, I found it so irritating.

175 of 191 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kas
  • 2018-03-11

What’s worse? The narrator or the story?

The reviews seemed promising but ommmggg this book was such a waste of time. I stopped with an hour left. Yes I literally made it that long and just couldn’t care about the story anymore to finish it. Maybe it had an amazing ending? I’ll never know but I highly doubt it. This narrator was so whining I was screaming at my phone. Maybe that’s part of the character, sure, but she exaggerated EVERYTHING. It was absolutely overacted. The story was no better, there were some shocks and turns but for how slow the writing was, I was less shocked and more relieved that anything little was happening. One short conversation lasted for like a half an hour as every unnecessary detail of the scene was examined and scrutinized and the lead character has side conversations with herself that caused a few sentences to feel like the last story you’d every hear until you died of old age. I know this might be shocking after reading this review, but I wasn’t a fan.

61 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Krista Kay
  • 2018-01-03

A shining example of the “psychological thriller”

I love this genre. Between audiobooks and print novels I devour at least 10 per month, but I can’t remember the last time I read one this well crafted. The text is rife with Hitchcock references and I have no doubt that the master of suspense himself would be enthralled with this work. The story arc is solidly constructed and when the ending plays out it doesn’t feel rushed like so many of these types of novels. Instead the twist takes on an arc of its own. I can wait to see what else this author has in store for us.

281 of 311 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cyndi
  • 2018-01-04

Disappointing!

The first 4 hrs were painfully slow & boring. The main character Ann is also totally weak & obnoxious. She’s completely unlikable & I had to force myself to finish the book b/c I couldn’t stand her whining & stupidity anymore. She spends the entire story stoned out of her mind on meds & /or getting wasted on wine. But then can’t understand why no one believes her. . . It got to the point I was going to throw my phone out of irritation if I had to listen about her taking another drink of wine every other sentence. Sooo annoying!!!!

156 of 173 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Haley Sanborn
  • 2018-01-10

I wouldn't waste my money (or credits)!

This had to be one of the most boring, predictable books I've ever listened too. I literally skipped about 3 hours of it and didnt miss a thing. Anna, the main character is extremely hard to like. I couldnt sympathize with her at all and found myself getting very frustrated. 90% of the book is her wondering around her house drinking wine and popping pills while exsplaining every little detail of her home. I don't understand why this got such rave reviews. I think ill return it and get my credit back.

37 of 41 people found this review helpful