Book Review: “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn
Although it took some time for the plot of “The Woman in the Window” to develop, it is well worth the read. It starts with a very interesting premise: Anna Fox, the main character and narrator, is a psychologist who is struggling to overcome a debilitating psychological disorder herself. As in Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (which the author references), Anna’s window provides her a connection to the outside world and eventually the conduit for inserting peril into her own life. A. J. Finn’s use of descriptive language sets the mood for this suspenseful psychological thriller. And he has developed his characters just enough so that the reader can draw his own conclusions (incorrect as they may be) about what really happened to Anna and to her neighbor. If you find the first two-thirds of this book a little slow (as I did), persevere. Persevere. Finn has set you up for the last third of the book, where you will encounter two stunning surprises. Because of the relatively slow pace of the early part of the book, I should probably give it a solid four star rating. But, truth be told, I was gobsmacked by the twisty ending — TWICE! So, I am pushing my rating up to a five stars. It’s a great read, and it’s going to make a great film.
“Where the Crawdads Sing” is a powerful story about survival. From a tender age, Kya, the main character, is abandoned by everyone who should love, protect, and guide her through life. Unable to read or write and without money or family, Kya learns to survive on her own by turning to the only world she knows — the natural world surrounding her marsh home. As a rule, she avoids the civilized world adjacent to her marsh until two men come into her life. From them she learns about the good and the bad in humanity.
Although Kya comes to observe people through the lens of her natural world, “Where the Crawdads Sing” is about much more than the natural world. This book is an exciting murder mystery and a love story with a satisfying and surprising ending. The storyline is very well-written, but the author’s writing style surpasses it. Her language is picturesque and lyrical. It needs to be savored.
This book is a unique treasure, and I cannot imagine that anyone but Delia Owens could have written this wonderful book. Put it on your bookshelf.