February 27th Meeting

The book club met last night at Tom’s house to discuss the February book ‘the woman in the window‘ by A.J. Finn. Since I was unable to attend Tom was gracious enough to provide the commentary for the discussion and pre-discussion happenings.

“Seven members showed up plus myself, although Jack T. fell ill and left before dinner.  Hope he is feeling better today.  The red wine was flowing in honor of Anna Fox, the protagonist in the book.  The BBQ pulled pork and chocolate cake were taken down, although I do have some nice leftovers!  (Note- This is not a shrimp cocktail eating crowd!  Guess what I’m having for lunch and dinner tonight?)

Here is how the discussion went:

                -A.J. Finn is actually a pseudonym for Daniel Mallory, an exec with William Morrow.
                -He was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder for 15 years so he had plenty of experience with drugs and doctors.
                 -Being in the industry he knew how to generate the hype for this book as it was number one on the bestseller list the first week it came out, which is unheard for a first time author.
                 -His next book will be set in San Francisco.

Comments about the book:
                -Several members thought the first 300 pages were too long and drawn out but the last 100 pages made up for it.  Several claimed they had a hard time putting the book down the closer it came to the end.
                -A few of us thought A.J. was a female author and were surprised to learn “she” was a “he”!
                -We thought the part about the wine and pill addiction seemed spot on, probably due to the author’s own medical problems.
                -Everyone seemed to like the plot twists with the young boy as the villain being a nice surprise.
                -As Craig wrote to me, most of the characters were not that likable with the exception of the “good cop”.  We all agreed.  The good cop was the most likable character.
                -I think Paul D. made the comment that he thinks the movie being made from this book should be a really good one.  Maybe we should have a group outing to go see it and drink some merlot!!??
                -Some thought it was a good read but would not become any kind of classic.  It was nice reading at the time but soon forgotten afterwards.
                -Overall, I think the members enjoyed the book.  As Jack Y. told me, it’s the kind of book he probably would not have read on his own but he was glad he read it and he learned a few things.  That was a very insightful comment and should be one of the tenements of this club.

                -We had one 4.0 rating.  All the others were between 6.0 and 7.5 with the overall average at 6.4   Not a bad showing for a first time author.

Thanks to everyone who attended!  It was a pleasure hosting you.

Tom Cawein”

In addition to Tom’s recap of the night I did receive comments from both Craig and Jeff since they were  out of town as well.

Craig – “As to the book: I enjoyed reading it and thought it was a good selection for our group. Wasn’t a great piece of literature that made you ponder the meaning of life, but then it wasn’t supposed to be. It was a thriller and a rather good one.  That said I give it only a 6, for two reasons: 1) Except for maybe the police detective, Little, I didn’t really like or relate to any of the main characters, especially Anna, and found it hard to be deeply interested in what was happening to/with them. And, 2) As exciting as the last 100 pages were, I thought that there was maybe one too many plot turns/twists. I personally think a better ending would have been to leave you wondering who of the many suspects actually did it, or if she really did make the whole thing-up?”

Jeff – “It’s almost hard to believe this is his debut novel.  After reading the book and reading about Daniel Mallory, I thought it brilliant that he submitted his book under the pseudonym AJ Finn to the publishing firm he worked as a VP and Executive Editor.

His descriptive word choice makes this book beautifully written; I think his decade in England contributed to this, using words that are not typically spoken in the United States.

In reading the first 2/3 of the book, I wondered how this woman became agoraphobic and I thought it an odd twist that she participated and advised other agoraphobics on the web chat forum.   Like all of us, we found out.  I did not see the teenager being the killer of Jane and how he was able to lure Anna in through the Agora webpage.   I also like the reference to the old black and white movies which makes me want both watch for the first time and re-watch some of these classic movies. 

Overall I enjoyed this easy to read book.   I rate it a 7.  “



About gillespierm

Born: 1952 Des Plaines Illinois Education: BA in Psychology from Western Ill University, Masters in Computer Sciences from Azuza Pacific University Occupations: Senior Consultant Inforeliance Corp. Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS) Family: Married in 1995 to Bonny. Hobbies: Golf, Hiking
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