The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Published by: Penguin Group, 2015
Genre(s): Adult Fiction, Thriller
Purchase the book here.
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
The Girl on the Train begins with Rachel… on a train. She takes the same commuter train every morning into London and every night back home. The train stops at the same signal, which allows her to daily watch the same couple, who she warmly refers to as Jess and Jason, eat breakfast on their deck. She looks forward it. It seems to Rachel that their life is perfect, unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute before the train moves on, but it’s enough. Everything has changed, and unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. The police think she’s unreliable, but soon she’s deeply entangled in the investigation and the lives of everyone involved; has she done more harm than good?
HOLY CRAP, THIS WAS SOOO GOOD GUYS.
I thought the beginning was a tad bit slow just because not much was happening plotwise. But then I didn’t even notice how much I didn’t want to put this book down until I HAD TO (damn you, work).
I was expecting something much different than what the book actually delivered. Every review said it was almost exactly like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which I loved but I didn’t want to read a copycat book, you know?
I thought the multiple-person narrative worked excellently for this book. I thought I would get confused, but it easy to notice a difference in the voices. And even if I was confused, having the narrator’s name at the top of every page in the chapter would’ve helped quite a bit. Also having the dates at the beginning of the chapter helped establish a solid timeline of events – I felt a bit like a detective double checking the time and dates while reading.
I did find the main character, Rachel, quite annoying during the majority of the book. She’s an alcoholic and very self-deprecating and every time she would lie about anything, I’d cringe. But then I ended up loving her and her bravery after learning the reason behind her alcoholism during the conclusion of the novel.
A few of the other notes I took while reading:
“Is Megan framing the therapist?
Is it the red-haired guy from the train station?
Why is Rachel so stupid? ugh.
I bet Tom is Mac.
Was Megan cheating on Scott with Tom?”
Word of advice- after finishing the novel, go back and reread the first two pages. Amazing context.
I highly highly highly recommend this book. This book is definitely going on my favorite books list. I can’t wait to reread this whole book again and catch more stuff that I’ve probably missed.