The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Book Summary)

Dr. Anna Fox has agoraphobia, and she has not left the house for months. She stays inside and spies at her neighbors through the window, using her camera.

The story starts when the Russells moved into the house across the street. The Russells are a family of three – Alistair (husband), Ethan (son) and Jane (wife). Ethan was the first one to approach Anna. He knocked and handed her a candle which is a gift from his mother, Jane. When Anna talked to Ethan, she knew right away that his family is problematic. She assumed that Alistair is strict and possibly a violent husband and father.

One day, while spying at the Russells, Jane Russell caught her and waved at her – or she thought it was Jane Russell. Jane ended up spending time with Anna – they played chess, drank wine and told stories. The next time she saw Jane was through her camera lens, but something was terribly wrong – Jane was stabbed in the chest. Anna panicked and decided to run across the street to the Russells so she can help Jane. Before she went outside, she was able to call 911. However, she didn’t make it across the street because she fainted. It was the first time she went outside of her house after months.

When she woke up, she was questioned by the authorities and she tried her best to answer their questions based on her foggy memory. That night, she drank her prescription pills, drank alcohol and watched a suspense black and white movie. The detectives didn’t believer her story. They assumed that she made everything up. She insisted that she saw Alistair’s wife, Jane Russell get stabbed in their balcony. However, Alistair was able to present his wife, the real Jane Russell, unharmed.

Nobody believes her, not even her husband and daughter whom she talks to everyday. Not even David, her tenant, whom she also suspects because she saw Jane’s earrings on his bedside table. Everyone thought that everything was just pure hallucination, the effect of drinking her pills along with alcohol.

One night, she received an email from guesswhoanna@gmail.com and it contains an attachment – which is her face, sleeping. Alarmed that someone has gone inside her house to take her photo, she called the detectives. However, they accused her of taking the photos by herself and sending it just to gain attention. She asked why they would not believe everything she claims, and the detectives were able convince her that she imagined everything. A part of her knew that they were correct, because she told everyone else that she got separated from her husband, and she talks to him and their daughter everyday when truth is – they both died in an accident. They were on their way home from a planned getaway to tell their daughter that they are getting separated. Anna had an affair. His lover was calling him the night of the accident, she was driving while arguing with her husband, Ed. After the accident, she was the only one that survived but she was traumatized. She was diagnosed with a severe case of agoraphobia.

For months, she pretended that her husband and daughter are just living somewhere else and when she realized that they really are dead, she considered killing herself — but there was one thing she discovered that kept her busy. While  checking her gallery, she found that before the photo of her sleeping was a photo of the window where it reflected the face of the woman she knew as Jane Russell. It gave her hope that she didn’t imagine everything. She called Ethan who confessed that the woman she met was his biological mother who wanted to take him away – so the real Jane Russell killed her. Ethan’s biological mother’s name is Katie. Ethan went home to convince his parents to surrender themselves to the police. Anna went to bed.

While asleep she dreamt of talking to her late husband and daughter. Her daughter asked about her cat’s paw and it woke her up because she realized something – how did Ethan know about the cat’s injured jaw? While they talked earlier, Ethan had asked about the cat’s paw. She asked it loudly in the dark and there was a reply from Ethan, “because i visit you every night”

Revelation:

It turns out that Ethan was the one who killed Katie because she got annoying. He was the one who took her photograph and sent it to her to scare her. His parents are innocent. And he already planned on killing Anna.

But Anna fought back. In the garden while Ethan was holding a letter opener to kill her, she told him something to distract him: “your mom told me who your father was. He loved you” and then she pushed Ethan.

When Ethan died, their house was up for sale and Alistair got arrested – accessory to the murder of Katie because he helped in covering up for Ethan. The detective apologized to Anna. And Anna started getting better.

Published by

Eva Harmoni

There was one night when the rain poured so hard, and i didn't want it to stop. Weird, because i was afraid and amused by the sound of the rain and thunder. The sound of it made me less alone that night. The next day i woke up to find my collection of journals soaked. I keep it near the window to make sure no one could read it. The writings can still be read but i was devastated by the damage. I wanted it preserved but i don't want it published. Still amused by the rain but afraid of the wrath it could bring to my journals, i created this blog.

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