This was another book club selection that I just finished reading by A.J. Finn. It is currently available from Amazon, but is still too new to be on sale.
I had high hopes for this book, based on the reviews on Amazon. Unfortunately, I do not agree with most of those readers. I did not find this book suspenseful or a thriller that grabbed my attention at all; this book was boring and the only reason I finished it was because of my book club discussion. The book is about a woman – Anna – that is suffering from agoraphobia after a tragic accident. She is in therapy and taking a lot of medication, but is also an alcoholic and obviously the two do not mix. Anna spends her days people watching through her windows, she knows all about her neighbors and takes pictures of them without their knowledge. A new family moves in across the street from her, and she meets the young son and who she believes is his mother. Soon after, while watching her neighbors through their window, she sees the woman being murdered. She tries to help, but because of her condition, no one believes her and things take a turn for the worse for her from there.
I’m sure that Finn had a reason to make Anna’s life so tedious and bleak, but aside from trying to convey her loneliness to the reader I’m not sure what that could be. Even if that were the case, it could have been easily done in a chapter or two and should not have taken the whole book. At times it seemed like Finn was simply taking all the old black and white movies that are continuously reference in the story and trying to re-create them in Anna’s life. It’s like one giant movie reference, there is nothing original about this story. I will say that there are quite a few twists and surprises at the end. Sadly, they are an afterthought and don’t flow with the storyline. It’s as if Finn realizes there is no substance to this book and decided to throw every twist possible into the last two chapters. It came off as too much, too late.
This was not an easy book to read, I had to force myself to pick it up and read at least a couple chapters a day just to make my deadline. I did see on the back that this is being turned into a movie. I can only hope that they don’t follow the storyline too closely otherwise the theatre may be asleep by the time the credits roll.