Spoiler alert: This article contains book spoilers for The Woman in the Window.
It's rare that a movie based on a book is better than the source material, but with a star-studded cast, The Woman in the Window on Netflix will at least do the novel justice. The Woman in the Window follows a murder witnessed by a woman whose own trauma has forced her to stay indoors and away from most people.
And the twists and turns of the book are sure to play out on screen in a way that takes viewers for a loop.
In 'The Woman in the Window' book, Anna is agoraphobic.
In the book version of The Woman in the Window, the main character Anna is agoraphobic and afraid to step outside of her home. It's revealed that she is also struggling with alcohol addiction following what she says is a separation from her husband and their young daughter, neither of whom live with her anymore.
Anna thinks she witnessed a murder near the start of the book.
As someone who stays inside of her home, Anna often keeps watch of people she sees from her window. And when new neighbors — a teenager named Ethan and his parents, Alistair and Jane — move in across the way, Anna becomes fixated on them. Then, she witnesses a murder from her window, which sends her life into a tailspin.
Anna only imagines her husband and daughter are still alive in 'The Woman in the Window.'
While Anna thinks she witnessed the death of Ethan's mom by his father, Alistair, it's revealed that Anna's trauma runs deep. While she talks about speaking with her husband and daughter often despite the alleged separation, it's revealed that they both died the previous year in a car accident, which left Anna as the sole survivor.
Ethan claims his birth mom was murdered by his adoptive parents.
Readers might at first think that Anna imagined the murder she saw at her neighbors’ home through her window, but she turns out to be right. However, Ethan weaves a web of lies that confuse her even further. He claims, in the book version of The Woman in the Window, that he was adopted and that the woman Anna saw murdered was his birth mom. According to Ethan, his adoptive parents killed her and buried her body upstate.
But by the end of 'The Woman in the Window,' Ethan is the real psychopathic mastermind.
It is eventually revealed in the book that Ethan actually killed his birth mom himself and, while his father helped cover up the crime, Alistair was also trying to protect Anna from Ethan. Because, as it turns out, Ethan had developed an obsession with Anna that rivaled hers with his family, and he intended to make her his next victim.
'The Woman in the Window' ends with Anna finally getting the closure she needs.
The book ends with a showdown between Anna and Ethan in which she sends him plummeting to his death through a rooftop garden window. His father goes to prison for helping him cover up the death of his mother. And, through it all, Anna also manages to come to terms with her own PTSD and gain closure from what really happened to her family.
Judging by the trailer for The Woman in the Window on Netflix, it wouldn't be surprising if the movie lives up to the plot of the book. Of course, it could leave out a few details or add more suspense for viewers, but it's a murder mystery with so many layers to it that it's hard not to get totally engrossed.