Book Club

January Book Discussion (Monthly Book Club) + We Reveal February’s Book!

January Monthly Book Club Kristy Wicks

Welcome to the discussion forum on our first book, “The Woman in The Window” by A.J. Finn. If you haven’t yet finished this book, then stop here because we are going to dive into everything and all the details. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, Emma & I began a book club this past month to stimulate our minds and promote reading this year. Click here to read the post explaining a little bit about the book club and our first book.

Must Have Winter to Spring Shoes (My Birthday Looks + Dessert Recipes) ~ Kristy Wicks

Spoiler Alert Below

How crazy was that ending, huh? If you have ever watched Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” or seen the movie, “Disturbia” starring Shia Lebouf, then you have a brief taste of the craziness surrounding the storyline and the main character, Anna Fox.

Overall, we LOVED this book. I’m sure there are people out there who feel like a lot of the topics from this story were taken from other storylines – other movies & books – but isn’t that how life works? I personally was excited to have a cross of the movies we spoke about above, Disturbia was one of our mid-2000 faves.

It’s always exciting when you are left guessing all the way until the very last page in a book – and our “bad guy” didn’t disappoint.

Once you’re introduced to Anna and you start learning about her daily routines, you begin to wonder how she ever got to this point. The author doesn’t disclose anything until nearly the end of the story, so you’re left guessing what’s really going on for the majority of the book – which pushes you to go into different directions with the “whodunnit” portion. From the very beginning, you clearly realize that Anna is an alcoholic with a traumatic history. She is a child psychiatrist, which makes it all the more interesting because she’s very in tune and knows that what she’s doing isn’t helping her. She drinks 2-3 bottles of Merlot a day (which in itself is a huge issue) but when you mix the wine with all the prescription drugs.. along with Anna’s fear of going outside, she comes off as a hot mess. Even though she appears out of control with her own life, she is obviously very intelligent. WE found ourselves wanting to follow along and root for her. Usually, books that have a struggling main character aren’t necessarily my favorite (I love a strong protagonist) but there was something so “real” about Anna that I believed in.

The Woman in The Window” – the title is clearly talking about Anna, when she spies on her neighbors through her camera lense. The topic of depression plays an important part on why Anna looks out her window every day to fuel her need for life and living. Being an agoraphobic, she has a fear of leaving her house, and because of this – she has hidden away from friends and all life outside. Anyone that crosses the threshold of her view becomes a character that she builds a storyline around. When the Russel family moves in across the street, she begins spying on them regularly from the beginning. At this point Anna was housebound for nearly a year and a half… the new family stimulated her curiosity from the moment they moved in.

Which leads us to another topic: Anna’s husband and daughter, who Anna is in continuous conversation with over the phone. We found it strange that the family didn’t live together and we aen’t given any information as to whether it’s a temporary or permanent situation. The husband made it clear on the phone with Anna that they were away for a specific reason, and as a reader we weren’t sure what he was even trying to insinuate. Was it a specific experience, was she sick or did she do something bad, or none of the above? It was confusing but yet kept us engaged throughout.

Another character we meet is the mysterious tenant who lives in the basement. Anna obviously thinks he’s cute, which we are happy to hear. It makes her seem normal somehow. He’s a pretty private person, and all we know is that he’s a carpenter and he dates occasionally.

Now on to the new family across the street… the Russel Family. We are first introduced to them via the son, Ethan, who brings a present to Anna from his mom. Anna is thrilled to finally speak to someone who dooesn’t show up simply because they are paid… (Anna has all her groceries delivered along with everything else)  Ethan also seems shy and sweet enough.
From Anna’s description, Emma and I immediately like him. Most boys would never drop by a neighbor’s house by themselves if even their mom told them to – brownie points for Ethan. It was sweet that he had never seen some of the movie classics either, and seemed genuinely interested in learning more. 

Side note: we loved the references to all the classic movies in this book. The author is an editor (this is his first book!) and he clearly has a love for film, which he reflects on his character, Anna. Anna Fox describes a lot of what she’s doing with references to her favorite films, such as “Gaslight” & others.

A running theme throughout the book is Anna’s awareness of agoraphobia, and her involvement in helping others in an online forum. We found it really interesting that not only does she struggle from this – but she also reaches out to help others. (Another sign of an intelligent woman.. she’s willing to admit her own fears but she’s also willing to put herself aside to help others face theirs.) People ping her on her I.M. throughout the day so she doesn’t feel “lonely” all the time, yet she really is always alone.
We found it interesting that there is always a theme in this story of “real vs. imaginative” which takes place with Anna’s online community as well. As shown through her conversations with “Grandma Lizzy” – who says that she struggles with agoraphobic issues, but then later, we discover that she is not who she says she is. The same could be said for her husband and daughter.

 

Must Have Winter to Spring Shoes (My Birthday Looks + Dessert Recipes) ~ Kristy Wicks

Twists that Shocked Us:

  1. When Ethan’s Mom went to Anna’s house and they shared a fun night together – but then the next day the husband came over to Anna’s and asked if his wife had come over to visit. Anna said no!! (So smart of her not to tell him.. he seemed menacing). Right then and there, Emma and I both decided that we weren’t fans of his. Hellooooo. He seemed so controlling. Ethan, his son wasn’t allowed to have a phone and he was in high school – what high school kid doesn’t have a phone these days?
  2. Ethan’s Mom (the first lady who visited Anna) was technically Ethan’s Mom, but… she didn’t live with the family! He was really adopted and his real mom’s name was Katie, not Jane! Also, the ‘Mom’ Ethan had at home (his adopted mom) was actually innocent of everything that had occurred. She was innocent.
  3. THAT ANNA’S FAMILY WAS REALLY DEAD THE WHOLE TIME. We were so shocked when the detective said it out loud and it turned out to be true. We knew that she had a traumatic experience and that she was going through something, but speaking to dead people on the phone? So sad and heartbreaking! At this point in the story, we felt one and the same with Anna. Also her story made Anna’s character come into question on whether or not she really did witness a murder across the street. We felt sorry for her!
  4. Finding out that Ethan was the person behind the “Grandma Lizzy” character online – I really believed that she was an older lady who needed help!Anna sleeping with David – wasn’t that steamy… but it was also a little uncomfortable because the deed happened in her daughter’s bed. (Why??)
  5. Ethan was the one behind all of the scary things that had been happening: the cat’s paw getting hurt (DON’T MESS WITH ANIMALS!), the scary photo of Anna sleeping that was sent anonymously to her inbox, and the fact that he had been sneaking in to her home every single night and watching her. Then he tried to kill her… o m g. What a crazy scene!

This book brought out so many emotions in me. One minute I’m sitting on the edge on my seat, and the next I’m feeling sadness and worry for Anna. The character development played out beautifully – and just like I said at the beginning, we were rooting for Anna throughout the entire story. One thing I can say is that this was a great “whodunnit” because I really didn’t know the entire story until the very end. Usually I can guess the story, but this time I was really thrown off.

January Book Discussion (Monthly Book Club)

Questions for you:

  • What was the overall theme of this book for you? A story of loss, lies, or everything in between?
  • Did you like Anna as much as we did or did she bother you?
  • Did you figure out that Ethan was really a “wackadoodle” or were you as shocked as we were?
  • Did you know anything about agoraphobia before this?
  • What did you think about the author’s writing style? Did you think he referenced movies a little too much?
  • What did you think about Anna and her family?
  • Describe how you felt when you found out that Anna’s family was really dead.
  • How did you feel when you found out that Ethan’s Dad helped hide Katie’s body and covered for Ethan?

This was so much fun – and I’m so excited to discuss everything with you. Comment below all of your thoughts & answers to any of the questions, and remember everyone.. you can comment on one another’s comments as well! We’ll be responding back to all the comments through the weekend, so keep them coming. ;)

 

FEBRUARY’S BOOK: 

“The Marriage Lie” by Kimberly Belle. “Even the perfect marriage has it’s dark side…” OMG you guys – this one was juicy. Emma says it had her guessing until the final page!

This book came out in 2016 but Emma and I just discovered it. Click here to purchase it on sale for under $10 (in paperback) or you can also purchase it in hardcover, on kindle or listen to it on audible. If you download audible for the first time, you get one book for free!

 

Synopsis: (from the back cover of the book)

Iris and Will have been married for seven years, and life is as close to perfect as it can be. But on the morning Will flies out for a business trip to Florida, Iris’s happy world comes to an abrupt halt: a plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board and, according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers.

Grief stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. Why did Will lie about where he was going? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to uncover what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she finds shock her to her very core.

Have you read this book? If not – are you looking forward to this one? Let us know in the comments alongside your opinions on January’s book!

 

It would be great if you’d pin the photo below and spread the word! We’d love it if even more people joined for February’s book club: 

February Monthly Book Club - Thrillers & Killers & Husband's Who Lie, Oh my!

 

xo,
Kristy & Emma

Thoughts?

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43 thoughts on “January Book Discussion (Monthly Book Club) + We Reveal February’s Book!

  1. I thought the ending with Ethan going through the sky light was predictable. Up up up!
    The box cutter wasn’t what she saw in Jane’s chest. Seemed like it was going to be.

    1. Hi Janelle,
      It definitely scared me! I was guessing he would fall the through the skylight as I was reading along too..
      I agree! What’s up with the box cutter? xx

  2. Loved this book, like you I was on the edge of my seat or feeling sad for Anna. I didn’t know anything about agoraphobia other than people can’t go outside, I now have a deep respect for people in this position. Ethan was a very believable character, as was everyone in the book. Loved all the old movie references, I felt it added to the who dunnit feel of the book.

  3. I’m so happy for this book club! I read it in 2 days. Stay home mom who stopped reading once my kids were born. They both are in school now (6&7 yrs old) . So this is fun for me!
    I had agoraphobia after bieng diagnosed with some health issues in my early 20s, it was awful. I ended up on leave from work, broke up with a horrible boyfriend and moved back with my parents. After some therapy I was able to get through it but, definitely debilitating. Mine was from being so overwhelmed and scared from a health issue that panic attacks were severe.. I am a home body naturally but could not go back to that now. Came out stronger. That was what initially drew me into the book, but upon reading I couldn’t relate to her medication or drinking.
    I did suspect Ethan was bad early on. Twisted about the birth mom being the one killed and the adoptive mom not knowing. Had no idea her family was dead though!!!! I look fwd to more books by that author. Also excited to read the February book! Thanks for doing this ladies and reuniting my passion for reading!!

    1. Hi MrsSugarFang,
      Wow.. that is incredible. I am so glad that you through that rough part of your life – but you came out stronger! So amazing.

      You suspected Ethan was bad? You’re better than me! I thought he was a sweet kid until the very end.. I am looking forward to more books from the author too. I am so glad to hear this helped you get back into reading xx

  4. Hi guys! I really loved this book. I remember I felt like I got hit by a brick wall when I found out about her family from the “bad” cop. I was shaken and a chill went through me although the clues were there all along. That is good writing. As I was reading the book I kept trying to cast the actors for the movie version. Here is what I have so far. . . Naomi Watts or Amy Adams as lead. Liam Nelson as her psychiatrist. Finished the book over a week ago and I am still processing it

    1. More on the movie cast. . . The role of David I can see being played by Zach Effron or either of the Hemsworth brothers – Liam or Chris. Having a hard time with her husband. Did the author ever reveal his occupation. They made reference to his blue prints in the basement. Could he have been an architect like Ethan’s father????

    2. Hi Jennifer!!

      Thank you so much for commenting.. I completely agree. It shook us to the core! We felt so sad for her at that point.. great writing. Oh my goodness! This movie would be amazing with that cast! I love Naomi Watts or Amy Adams as the lead.

  5. I absolutely LOVED this book! It was released later in the UK so I only got it last week but I read it in 24 hours; it was so addictive!
    Personally I loved Anna’s character and the film references throughout were a great correlation to what was happening in real life. I got SO frustrated with her drinking all the time though; it made me so mad that that was probably the reason why no-one believed what she was saying. I was willing her to put down the glass of wine so when she finally did I felt really proud of her.
    I had no idea until she described the car crash that her husband and daughter might be dead; but then when she described how they weren’t moving and they were outside for so long and I was thinking “wasn’t there was a snow storm?”, I started to wonder if maybe they were gone. It made me feel so incredibly sad; I actually shed a tear. I couldn’t imagine the pain of losing your whole family like that and it being your fault too.
    Ethan was a huge surprise; that line when he said “because I watch you at night” scared the living daylights out of me! In a way, it’s a real shame he ended up like that; a product of his upbringing? Or maybe built that way? I don’t know. I could sense the whole way through however that Granny Lizzie wasn’t who she said she was. I never guessed Ethan though; I actually thought David!
    In the end I think David was a good guy and felt sorry for him the way Anna treated him. It would have been great if they’d got together but I think she needed a lot of healing before any relationships could begin.
    I admit I knew nothing about agoraphobia before reading this apart from it’s a fear of going outside. What a horrible debilitating illness it must be and I can completely understand why Anna developed this after everything she went through. I really applauded her work on the Agro site though and her willingness to help others. Despite her horrific past, she still had that in-built desire to reach out to others in need. I thought this was very brave of her.
    All in all what a fantastic book! Thanks heaps for the recommendation. xx

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Thank you for joining us all the way from the U.K.! I love that you read it in 24 hours – Emma read it in a couple days. Love it. I got frustrated too about her drinking. It was frustrating when no one believed her – even her own husband.. who turned out to be dead. So sad :(

      I felt the same when we found out about her family… just so depressing.

  6. I thought this book was really good (thanks for the recommendation – as I hadn’t heard of it before!) Some of my (all over the place!) observations:

    I have to say the one thing I saw coming was that Grandma Lizzy was not an elderly lady who needed help. I had a feeling it was whoever was truly behind the murder.

    I also kind of like how the title could refer to Anna in the sense that she is the woman in the window peering out at her neighbours, but also Ethan’s mom who she saw get murdered in the window..kind of a clever but simple title.

    The family being dead surprised me but made perfect sense, and I really enjoyed that surprise. I felt like I picked up on a weird vibe from Ethan, but wasn’t surprised when it ended up being him. Thought I was surprised that he hid his crazy so well! lol

    I liked the references to the movies and feel that I will end up watching a few, I wish that there was a comprehensible list in the back of the book so that it is easier to round them up to watch.

    Looking forward to the next book!!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Thank you for joining us. It’s so funny that so many of you seemed to know who Granny Lizzie was or knew that whoever it was, was up to no good! I really didn’t realize it until the very end..

      It was crazy how Ethan hid his “crazy” so well.. I completely agree. I think it would be a great idea to add a comprehensive list of movies in the back as well :) Can’t wait to discuss next month!

  7. I loved the book, it was so addictive!
    I don’t know how and why but I guessed Ed and Livy were dead since the beginning! The author never mentioned that she literally called them using a phone nor he mentioned that they ever called her, so it gave me an indication that they were dead and she was talking to their souls or so.
    The book also introduced me to agoraphobia and made me feel the way they feel , they’re so strong to be going through all of this. I really appreciated that part.
    My favorite part was that I couldn’t figure out if she was coming up with all this jane thing or what she saw was true. I believed her at first but when she saw the picture of her sleeping on her phone and the email user “guesswhoanna” logged in her computer, I thought she was delusional and imagining , with her meds and drinking too much.
    Ethan was my biggest shock! I’ve always thought it was his father. Also that the woman who she thought was jane wasn’t Mrs.Russell and was Ethan’s biological mother , that was a nice twist.
    Can’t wait to read Feb’s book!
    Thank you Kristy and Emma xoxo

    1. Hi Maisa,
      It was seriously so addictive!! Wow – I can’t believe that you guessed that. I really never would have guessed – the phone conversations between Anna and her family were so in depth I even imagine that she would’ve made them up in her head.

      Yes I agree with you – at one point I believed Anna was making all of this up. I loved that aspect: what is real? what was imagined? Because she was so drunk 90% of the time. The part with the e-mail scared me!

      Aww I can’t wait to read the next book too – xo

  8. How could you not get totally wrapped up in this book.
    My heart went out to Anna .The guilt from the accident??How could anyone be sane after that.
    So many twists and turns. What a fabulous read..
    ….and Ethan turning out to be a monster?? Blew ne away. Didn’t see that coming!!! Can’t wait to start Februarys book?

  9. LOVED the book!!!! It was a rollercoster ride !! At first I thought the story was going kind of slow but reading into it just started to fly!
    When I found out that her husband and daugter were dead, I was so sorry for her and made sense to me that talking to them made her feel that they were still there and she herself didn’t want to accept the truth. Because of their death (and the guilt) lead her to being agoraphobic.
    Ethan!! O boy o boy!! I didn’t have a clue that he was behind all of it! He was Grandma Lizzie?!He went to her house at night?! And the name guesswhoanna?! And he even tried to kill her!! I was blown away!! He had a sad childhood but even though can it make someone so evil? Maybe it can, there are such horrible things we see on the news.
    This book’s theme of what’s real and what’s imagined made me guessing all through it. All the twists and turns!! I enjoyed reading in a long time.
    Thank you Kristy and Emma!
    Can’t wait to start reading next month’s book!
    So happy about the book club!

    1. Loved the book but can anyone explain to me the explanation as to who Ethan’s father was and the ‘slugger’ reference. We know that Ed called Anna ‘slugger’ so why did she tell Ethan that his Dad called his Mum it?

      1. I think that she only said it because she knew that Ethan desperately wanted to know more about his father over everything and would maybe pause and not kill her right away because he would want to know more. And during this pause would be her chance to push him onto the skylight that she knew was going to break. So she just spoke about his father’s qualities as her husband Ed.

      2. I loved this book! I was not surprised by GrandmaLizzy being Ethan or her family being dead. I felt something was off about Ethan the entire time, but I knew he was truly off when the cat, who initially was all over him, but after his paw was hurt, slipped behind the couch when Ethan was there. The only thing that truly puzzled me was the ending. I think Ed was supposed to be Ethans’s father and somehow Jane Russell/Katie and Anna Fox were the same character. The reason for thinking this is the line in Chapter 99 where the newspapers dubbed “KILLER TEEN’S $4M HOUSE!” It sounds to me as if Ethan had actually owned the house. Was the woman in both the Fox house and the Russell house one and the same and were they both the woman in the window? The time Anna spent with Jane Russell (Katie) had a very dreamlike feel to it, i.e., same birthdays, “Jane” bringing Riesling wine which Ed liked drinking ice cold and which they were going to drink before the argument in the hotel, Something about the picture in the locket “Jane” was wearing was also some kind of clue. I’m still puzzling over whether the Jane/Katie and Anna conversation was real or whether Anna was imagining a conversation with her former self. Also, were Jane/Katie and Ed, or Anna and Ed Ethan’s biological parents. Will be puzzling over this ending for a long time.

  10. Loved this book. Thank you so much for the recommendation. I haven’t read in so long and I couldn’t put this book down. Yes, it reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” which is one of my favourite movies. I enjoyed the references to all the classic movies. This book is definitely a page-turner and is being passed around in this family. Thank you Emma and Kristy for starting this book club. Can’t wait to read “The Marriage Lie”.

  11. Loved the book I listened on audible and the reader was perfect and made it more suspenseful
    I thought initially that Anna was dead then realized she wasnt – and was shocked to find out they were dead I thought because of her drinking her husband moved out Ethan’s dad was scary but too obvious and I had a nagging feeling about Ethan – I was not surprised he was the one but shocked that he was Grandma Lizzie! I felt compassion for Anna throughout

    Loved the book – Emma I will read anything you suggest after this perfect choice! Kristy thanks for starting the book club !

  12. I literally just finished the book within the last hour and I definitely enjoyed it!
    The theme was broad and it hit home for me as it dealt with life and loss, PTSD, self-medicating as a means of survival and more. I found myself relating to Anna in many ways although that didn’t stop me from wanting to admonish her many times for her reckless behavior. However, I know we all respond to loss and trauma in different ways and I definitely felt as though I understood her for the most part.
    I bawled like a baby when Det. Little revealed that Ed and Olivia died in the accident. My heart broke for Anna and everything she went through. And oh my….the guilt. I cannot even fathom the guilt. Needless to say, I did not see this shocker coming.
    I did get a weird vibe from Ethan at some point in the book so I wasn’t necessarily surprised at the ending although that doesn’t mean I found the ending predictable. I was surprised that the real Jane wasn’t involved…well… at least as far as we know. As for Alistair, wow. I think he was really just in over his head with his son and was trying, unsuccessfully, to protect everyone. Parents do crazy things for their kids every day. I almost feel as though this humanized him in some way.
    I did know about agoraphobia thanks to the movie Copy Cat. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. If you enjoy books like this, you’re sure to love it!
    Looking forward to book number 2!

  13. This book was great. But what happened with David? I felt like we didn’t get closure.
    In addition, while she was trying to survive at the hands of Ethan, she referenced his real dad. Basically describing Ed. I was confused, was Ed his dad or did she just say all that to try to lessen his anger and hope he wouldn’t try to kill her.

    1. Anna tried to get in touch with David at the end of the book to explain everything and probably apologize but he never called her back. He moved away and never looked back in my opinion.

    2. When Katie visits Anna that night and have that get to know each other conversation, Katie refers to the man before Alistair as “a grimace” and a mistake from when she was younger. I’m thinking he is Ethans dad and when Anna was telling Ethan about his biological dad, she was in fact talking about Ed. Anna was telling Ethan what he wanted to hear that he was loved by his parents and he can get better. I believe that is something Ethan couldn’t cope with and that’s why he jumped. He felt guilty.

  14. I really liked how the the author was playing around with our perception of what is true and what is imagined, however I did not like how big of a mess Anna was. All the “did I have a bottle or 3 bottles of wine” or “did I sleep an hour or 10” confusion to make her look like a big mess, it felt forced and annoyed me at points because she did not help herself by constantly missing her doses, erroneously taking double doses, and mixing them with alcohol despite her Doctor’s stern warning to NOT mix her prescribed medications with alcohol. I did not expect for her family to be dead. That was the biggest shock to me and made me feel really sad for her, I actually refused to believe it for a minute, I stopped reading and just thought about it; the circumstances of how it happened made me even more sad because in a way if it wasn’t for her affair the accident wouldn’t have happened. The ending was surprising, I started thinking that maybe she is the one with the personality disorder and finding out that Ethan was the bad guy was a big surprise. I enjoyed reading it, thank you for the recommendation!

  15. Thanks Kristy and Emma for the book recommendation, I really enjoyed it and although I started late, I managed to read it in a few days.
    I was shocked at the revelations about the husband and daughter, Ethan and “Grandma Lizzy” – but I feel like I shouldn’t have been you know? She alluded to things being off with each of them but my optimism pushed the doubts aside!
    I am in a book club with some friends but this is good because YOU decide what we read (and then maybe I can sneakily suggest one of these when it is my turn to choose again).
    I’ve just started the next one and I’m intrigued already!

  16. Hi Kristy and Emma!

    This book was a great choice. I have a neighbor who is agoraphobic so this definitrly heightened my compassion for her. For some reason I knew from the beginning that Anna’s Family was dead and that was the cause of her anxiety. I did not, however, suspect Ethan. Maybe because I have a 17 year old son that matches his sweet description. Ha ha! I did suspect that Lizzie was someone that was known to her but I didn’t know who. Overall…I predicted a lot of the book but still thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s my favorite kind of book! Xoxo Michelle

  17. First off, a BIG thank you for starting this book club and beginning with a book that kept me interested and wanting to keep reading. I am an elementary teacher and try to read a lot during the summer months, but find that during the school year, I do so much reading with my students all day long, that by the time I am ready to relax for the evening, reading has not been my “go to” activity. Unfortunately, mindless activities like TV and staring at the computer screen have been. Anyway…. long story short, one of my goals for 2018 was less screen time…. more reading and more physical activity. This book club motivated me to get started on the reading part of that goal!
    I really liked the book. It was an easy read…. which was exactly what I need during the school year. It really did keep me on the edge of my seat. The reference to the old movies has also sparked in me an interest to watch some of those old classic films…. being in my 50’s, I am familiar with many of them, but have watched very few. So…. when I do allow myself TV time…. I want to check some of those classics out! I remember my mom and grandma talking about many of them….. they LOVED Jimmy Stewart!
    As far as catching on to any of the story…. I did have a hunch that the murdered woman was Ethan’s mother…. but the way the author played it out was great.
    This is getting much too long….. I truly enjoyed the book and am looking forward to reading the February selection.
    Thanks so much for lighting a fire under me and getting me reading again!

    1. Thanks so much for commenting Jill! We love teachers as we have several in the family. :) I’m so happy you liked the book as much as we did. Such a fast read! I agree that the author did a great job unfolding the story, especially at the end. I usually always figure out the scoop and this time I was stumped! Hugs xx

  18. Great pick Emma! Started reading while driving to Canada for a ski trip. (Husband was driving!) Then picked it up at bedtime one night and finished it at 1:30 AM! Couldn’t stop, captivated immediately. Surprised by the twists and turns–my cynical mind usually has it figured out. Loved Anna and was stunned to discover her family was dead. Almost thought the book would be like A Beautiful Mind at that point. But Ethan. I was not prepared for that ending.
    Thank you for giving me a jumpstart on one of my New Years goals. Will definitely order the January selection!

    1. Hi Lynelle,

      Emma nailed it with this choice. I loved the book too. We were so sad to read about Anna’s family and in the end I really didn’t suspect Ethan and was happy to be surprised. Love that your read the book in one night! Those nights are the best.. Thanks so much for commenting! xx

  19. Hi Kristy,
    Thanks for the book recommendation! I couldn’t put it down and I read it over just a few days. I loved the writing style…kept me thinking. As a busy mom with a 4 year old, I loved the short chapters because I could easily read while my daughter took a bathroom break or in between tasks. I was completely wrapped up in this book, but became disappointed when the author reverted to the tired story of the adopted child who is the killer and has major adoption issues. As a mom who has been touched by adoption, I do not appreciate when that is an author’s go-to. This story could’ve had a better story line had they chosen a different twist to Ethan’s back story. Overall though, the writing was excellent and I would recommend the book to someone else, unless they have been touched by adoption as well. If I wouldn’t have been so committed to the story by the time that twist was revealed, I probably would’ve put it down. It’s sometimes hard to relate to that when you haven’t adopted or are adopted, but we as an adoption community wish that authors would use adoption to tell powerful and meaningful stories, not use adoption as a reason for psychosis or major issues. Other than that, I thought the book was a great read. Can’t wait to get my next book in :)

  20. I listened to this book on Audible on my commute to and from work. I try not to listen any other time, but this book did make it hard to turn it off once I arrived at my destination. I won’t say I wished for more traffic, but didn’t mind the extra time in the car! Anna really bugged me at times with the amount of drinking and prescription medications she was taking. The discovery of who Grandma Lizzie actually was made me realize how easily people can be fooled by their “online” acquaintances. The fall through the skylight was predictable. Overall I liked the book, but didn’t love it. I have already read the February book pick, and loved that book.

  21. I just finished this book in two days! I’m so happy to have found this book club and a new book that I really enjoyed!
    I absolutely loved Anna’s character even though she was obviously damaged, you knew she had a kind heart and was probably a beautiful, strong, career driven woman before everything had happened.

    I will say that I don’t think her affair added to the story at all- I loved Anna so much that I didn’t want to picture her doing that to her family. She planned the vacation and drove the car over the cliff I think that was enough guilt.

    I never really saw Ethan being the bad guy until the day that Anna chased Jane into the coffee shop and when the young neighbor brought her home the author stated that Ethan was already in Anna’s house- why??

    Anyways I loved the book- I hope they cast Naomi watts or Julianne Moore as Anna- Dane DeHaan as Ethan- . Jake Gyllenhaal as David ( handsome but dark) Maybe like a Jeff Bridges or Hugh Jackman as Allister and and Michelle Williams as Katherine. Dreamy cast :)

    Looking forward to the next book

  22. I figured out that Anna’s family was dead when the neighbor boy at the coffee shop said his mother told him what happened and he was so sorry. It just struck me that you say “I’m sorry” when someone has died. Other than that, everything was a total surprise. Excellent book! I read it in 2 days.

  23. Kristy and Emma
    I loved this book! Love to read suspense and mysteries. Which of the remaining books did you enjoy most? I won’t have time to read them all but was curious what was your best favorite. I will read it! Thanks for doing this.

  24. Loved this book although I’m not a mystery/thriller reader. I’m a non-fiction lover, especially memoirs of transcendence. But I facilitate book clubs for parents in public schools in Queens, NY and we alternate between fiction and non-fiction each month. This was our mystery for the year and it was an amazing one at that! I was the most shocked to hear that Anna’s family was really dead. That was a ‘what’ moment. He’s an amazing writer to be able to surprise the reader at each major point. This is being made into a movie. Once again we are reminded that things/people aren’t necessarily what/who they present as. It becomes disconcerting when you start to wonder who you can ever really trust as the real deal; that what you see is what you get.

  25. Hey guys! Just finished the book, I was hooked and really enjoyed it. Did not expect Ethan at all however there were a few things which disapointed me in the book. I felt like they touched on characters and never really went into depth or explained the rest of it. E.g the affair with Anna and brill and how it tore her eds marriage apart. I thought that part of the story had potential to be elaborated with more flashbacks but it just abruptly ended and was left wondering who this strange character was. … also thought David played somewhat prominent character but never heard the end of him? Same with the cheating neighbor. Don’t get me wrong I finished this book in a few days! But just dissecting it here I wish they went further into it. I felt that the incredibly short 1-2 page chapters with blank pages in between was blank space that could have been used for more detail. I also found that there was too much dialogue from the movies .. it was like reading a movie script and found myself just skipping sentences almost every page as they were just conversations from movies. I found that the book was great but the ending was just so sudden and quick and before I knew it I had come to the last page! I had hoped that more depth could have played out with the story line as it ended quite abruptly leaving some things not explained properly. OVERALL I enjoyed the book! (Just wondering if anyone else thought the same?)

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