I’ve been in a writing slump, finding it hard to get in the “writing mood”, and so I’ve been reading as much as possible, carrying books in my purse every where I go, squeezing pages where I can, dissecting books as I go – in hopes that it will inspire my own writing. (and it is working!) The Girl On The Train to put it bluntly, wishes it could be Gone Girl. If I am going to read a Psychological Thriller, I want it to be creepy, I want it sneaky, I want it sharp, I want it to make my heart pound, and produce lack of sleep due to nightmares. All of which Gone Girl did for me. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, is the tamer version of Gone Girl.
Let me make a disclaimer here: I’m the person who usually figures out what’s going to happen in a show, movie, or book, well before the reveal. My husband lovingly calls me CSI Amanda. I had seen the Gone Girl movie before I read the book, so as I was reading it, I already knew what was going to happen, and yet I the reveal still made me gasp. The Girl on the Train is 316 pages long, and I figured out who did it and why they did it before the half-way point. So, needless to say, the “big reveal” wasn’t a reveal to me at all. I was hoping the author would twist the plot so I would be surprised but was disappointed. It was a “I knew it” moment, instead of an “Aha!” moment for me. If you are someone who doesn’t usually figure things out before the reveal, then I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this book, and you will be surprised.
The Girl on the Train, published in 2014, is a story that takes place in 2012-2013. It’s about a woman named Rachel who is a train wreck (pun intended). She travels on the same train, into London, passes the same houses around the same time every day, allowing her to have a glimpse into their lives. She is an alcoholic, having an extremely hard time moving on after her divorce from her cheating husband, Tom, who is now married to Anna, and they live a few houses down from Jess and Jason. Rachel likes to watch Jess and Jason from the train as she passes every day, imaging their perfect marriage, perfect jobs, perfect house, living the perfect life that she longs for. Then one day, Rachel sees something extremely peculiar happen at Jess’s house.
We find out that Jess is actually named Megan, her husband Jason is actually named Scott, and Megan has mysteriously gone missing, on the same night that Rachel found herself roaming the streets near Megan’s house, drunk, waking up the next day not remembering what happened.
The story is told from three perspectives: Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Rachel’s alcoholism allows for holes from her perspective, which provides the ability to create a mystery. If she could just remember what happened on that night she could figure it all out.
This is the first novel I have ever read in which I hated every single character! I could not relate to any one. I found them all incredibly annoying. I wanted to like Rachel, I really tried, but she kept making so many bad decisions. Cathy, Rachel’s roommate, was annoying as well. But I ended up liking her more than anyone else. Rachel’s cheating, lying ex-husband Tom, and his new wife Anna are disgusting and made me angry. I didn’t like Detective Inspector Gaskill, or Detective Sergeant Riley. I didn’t like Megan’s husband Scott, and I didn’t even like Megan! And she was the victim!
Good Stuff: It was a page-turner for me, I read it in a couple of days in a few sittings. I did have a hard time putting it down. I did like the story, plot, and themes. I give it 3 Stars.
If you’re looking for a less shocking version of Gone Girl, then I think you’ll enjoy The Girl on the Train. If you read it, let me know what you think 🙂