Saturday, 7 November 2015

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 320
Genre: Psychological Thriller

The Girl on the Train
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?
You either love or hate this book. I loved this book. During boring, repetitive commutes I am pretty sure everybody speculates on the lives of the familiar faces of strangers you see everyday on the way. This is why I found The Girl on the Train fascinating, Hawkins takes this common phenomena and weaves it into an engaging thriller.

The story unfolds as three different points of view from three different women, Rachel, Anna and Megan. Each giving their perspective of events and their lives. None of these narrators were reliable and none of them were likeable in the slightest. The shifting narratives read like diary entries, they were all so unapologetically honest, laying bare their innermost thoughts and feelings. It is really hard to like a person once you are exposed to every sordid secret of their lives. They did feel like real people, and this resonated with me.

I honestly didn't have a clue who the perpetrator was and was utterly shocked when the big reveal came. It was a bit of a slow burn, the story does take 100 pages or so to really gain momentum but once it does it is hard to put down.


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