The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…
Thanks to Transworld and Netgalley for my review copy.
I could just leave this review as:
“Wow, this book is incredible – everyone should read it!” because that is exactly what I was thinking as I read The Girl on The Train.
You need a little more though.
Rachel is the lead voice, she is The Girl on the Train. She is a sad character. Her husband has left her, he is living with his new wife and their new baby in Rachel’s old house – a house that Rachel sees every day from her seat on the train as she travels to work. Unfortunately, Rachel is not prepared to accept that her marriage is over, she drinks heavily and is very much down on her luck.
On her journey to work Rachel sees another house every day – she watches the couple that live there and she imagines how their perfect life together must be. They are her ‘Jess and Jason’.
The narration switches from Rachel to Jess (real name Megan) and the reader gets to learn more about Rachel’s ‘perfect’ girl – unsurprisingly all is not perfect in her life after all.
The final narrator of the story is Anna. Anna is married to Rachel’s ex-husband. She does not like Rachel and is increasingly frustrated by Rachel’s constant interference in her life – she just wants Rachel to leave her family alone. But when Rachel gets drunk she calls and emails her ex-husband and Rachel gets drunk a lot.
As the book unfolds the story is moved on by changes to the narrator. We move from Rachel to Megan to Rachel then to Anna before joining with Rachel again. Slightly confusing if you have to put the book down mid chapter but easily recoverable (and you will not WANT to put the book down mid-chapter).
Paula Hawkins creates vivid, believable characters. The switching of narration between Rachel (The Drunk), Megan (The Perfect Girl) and Anna (The Other Woman) is expertly handled. I was completely drawn into the story, driven by the necessity to find out what happened next. The true mark of my enjoyment was that I was disappointed when the book ended – I could have read more.
I am very much against spoilers so I cannot reveal too much more about the various twists in the plot but I can assure you that there are twists a-plenty. The Girl on the Train is a gripping read – you must avoid spoilers, you must read it as soon as you can and you must hope that someone makes it into film so that you can tell them you read the book first and that it was incredible.
A full five out of five for The Girl on the Train.