Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Rating: ★★★1/2

Provided Synopsis: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. 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 offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Review: Everyone in this book is absolutely terrible. But do not allow that to deter you from reading, since it is often the case that the terrible ones do the things that keep you riveted to the plotline.

Rachel is a depressed alcoholic with a penchant for not letting things go. The life she had always expected to live is reflected back to her every day she looks out of the window from her seat on the train. From her view she can see a couple whom she comes to project fantasies upon; they live a charmed life, they are so in love with each other, they have personalities and names she has created from the seconds-long glimpses she catches of them twice a day. So what happens when Rachel sees something that alters her perspective?

In terms of the guilty party in connection with a character’s disappearance, the subject read as obvious. However, I do not think this book should be read for that aspect. It was the characters, with all of their faults and secrets that made this story fast-paced and something that I was always ready to return to. Through her self-imposed involvement in the disappearance case and the lives of two houses on the same street, Rachel confronts her past and the demons of her present. The psychological aspect of her ordeal unraveled in a matter to leave me fascinated, horrified, disgusted, and full of pity.

So is this book anything like Gone Girl, as the publisher’s publicity department would want you to believe? Only in terms of unlikable characters and the taste left in the reader’s mouth concerning the horrors of marriage. But doesn’t that also sound like enough to entice you to read this, as well?


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