Anna Fox spends much of her time enjoying a glass (or bottle) of wine, chatting with fellow agoraphobics online, and staring through her Nikon camera into her neighbors homes. She notes who is reading what for book club, who is having an affair, and who is moving— normal things. Until one day, she sees something awful and has to convince herself, her neighbors, and the authorities that what she saw was real.
Unpopular opinion alert: I do not think this 400+ page book is worth the read. I have a weird relationship with thrillers, as many of you know, but I decided to give this one a try because a.) much of bookstagram raves about it and b.) I was headed off to a cabin in the woods and thought I’s just scare myself half to death while I was at it. So, I started the book. Almost immediately I was suspicious of our main character. I’ve clearly read too many unreliable narrator stories, because I built up some big walls to keep Anna Fox and her charms out. So, admittedly, that’s on me.
However, there are a few not-on-me main reasons why I didn’t love this book. First, the length. This book is SO long and so much of it is quite repetitive, making for a slow first half. Anna is an agoraphobe, meaning she is uncomfortable with open spaces and thus doesn’t leave her house often. Nearly all of the book happens in the same (admittedly well-described) home and in a homogenous drunken haze. At some point, I was just over it. I would have preferred a hearty edit of much of her alone time. Second, the movies. This book constantly talks about Anna’s love for old movies, to the point where I was sure it would somehow be tied in to our mysterious ending. And … it wasn’t. Disappointed.
Of course, there were a few things I enjoyed about this book. Anna was a delight at times, despite my suspicions of her. I thought the writing was quite good, especially the hazy overtones of the constant drugs and drunkenness. And, of course, that killer ending. I had a few theories and every single one of them was far off-base, and I definitely gasped aloud when the ends tied up. I love a good ending.
Overall? Unfortunately the surprising ending didn’t do enough to hold up the rest of this massive, kind of slow book for me. Better thriller are out there.
This post includes an Amazon affiliate link. :) Shopping through this link gives me a small compensation for introducing you to a product, so feel free to use it when purchasing!