Netflix’s “The Woman in the Window” is the Intrigue You Need this Summer
By Ashley Broadwater
“The Woman in the Window” arrived on Netflix this spring, and I’m incredibly excited. Starring Amy Adams as the main character, Dr. Anna Fox, it’s based on a #1 New York Times bestselling novel by A.J. Finn. While you may think the concept is the same as “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, don’t worry 一 I thought it would be too, and it’s not.
“The Woman in the Window” is both unique and gripping. Despite being 427 pages, I read it in only three days, with the last 300 pages being read in one day 一 which is a feat for someone as busy as I am. This was largely because the plot twists (my favorite!) were more than tenfold. If you’re interested in the summary, plot twists, and a review, you’re at the right place.
“The Woman in the Window” is about a psychologist, Dr. Anna Fox, who lives alone. Separated from her husband Ed and daughter Olivia, she struggles with agoraphobia (and potentially alcoholism) that keep her alone and lonely. Since she spends all her time inside, she entertains herself by helping other people with agoraphobia on a forum, talking to Ed and Olivia on the phone, and watching the neighbors through her window. Her most recent interest is the Russell family: Jane, Alistair, and their son Ethan.
But one day, she sees Jane (whom she’d previously met) being stabbed to death. She calls the police, but they don’t believe her. Other than knowing her agoraphobia and unhealthy relationship with alcohol, this is because Jane is still alive.
But Anna knows what she saw 一 or does she? Did she hallucinate Jane or the murder? Or could the Jane that’s alive be an imposter? If she is an imposter covering up the murder, is Ethan safe?
Anna tries to figure out the truth, all while dealing with others’ doubts about her 一 and her doubts about herself.
The Plot Twists (Warning: Spoilers Ahead!)
The first plot twist is finding out Ed and Olivia are actually dead, and pretending to talk to them is how Anna copes. Here’s what happened: The three were driving home from a trip in a snowstorm. Anna and Ed fought over Anna cheating on Ed and Ed wanting her to tell Olivia. Their fight turned into a car accident that sent them over the edge of a cliff. Stuck on a ledge for days, Olivia and Ed both died, but Anna survived.
That traumatic experience is also what caused Anna’s agoraphobia. After days under an open sky in a snowstorm, unsure of whether she’d be saved her not, Anna became terrified of the outdoors.
As far as plot twists regarding the Russell family, there are several. First, after Anna shows Ethan a picture of the Jane she met, he admits Anna actually met his birth mother, Katie, who abused drugs. Once she became clean, she wanted a relationship with Ethan and began to stalk him. Ethan then explained that Jane murdered Katie when she broke into the Russell’s home.
However, after thinking critically, Anna realizes Ethan may not be telling the truth about who he is or the situation at hand. The two talk more, and Ethan finally admits he has a personality disorder 一 Anna believes either psychopathy or sociopathy 一 and that he’s been toying with her this entire time. Further, Ethan was the one who killed Katie, and he also pretended to be one of Anna’s friends/patients on the agoraphobia forum.
While trying to save herself, Anna pushes Ethan off the roof in self-defense. She then begins to get closure over not only the trauma that came with Ethan, but also the trauma that came with Ed and Olivia’s deaths and her agoraphobia.
Wow wow wow! This book was incredible. While many of the major twists come at the end, this book enthralled me the entire time. While the negative portrayal of mental illness disappoints me as a mental health advocate, I appreciate how engaging, complex, and unique this book is. It’s definitely unputdownable and one of my all-time favorites. As a book lover, that’s notable!
This story contains some affiliate links that may pay us a tiny commission if you decide to buy something through them. If so, thanks for supporting the Taffeta community.