April 29, 2015
The Girl on the Train
"There are familiar faces on these trains, people I see every week, going to and fro. I recognize them and they probably recognize me." ~ pg. 10
Rachel Watson is the girl on the train. She is a divorced, barren, unemployed, soon-to-be-homeless alcoholic. Having wine for breakfast and liquid lunches is normal for her. She commutes to London every day not because she has a job, but out of habit and because she has nowhere else to go. The 8.04 train route in the morning and the 7.56 evening train happens to go past the house she used to live in with her ex-husband. Now it is shared with his new wife and baby. Rachel can't help looking as she passes daily.
Rachel also peers in to the neighbors a few doors down: a happy married couple she has named in her head. Rachel admires their loving life. Until one day, she sees the wife (Megan) kissing a man that is clearly not her husband. Angry and reminded of her own betrayal, Rachel gets off the train to see a bit closer what's going on. The chick is nosy.
Next thing you know, she wakes up hungover and bruised the next day with no recollection of the night before. To her disbelief, the local news reports the wife missing. Did Rachel have something to do with it? Or witness something? Who was the mysterious man? Did she commit a terrible act and blacked it out? If only Rachel could remember. And so the mystery begins with alternate narration between Rachel and Megan.
"No, it's because I feel like I'm part of this mystery. I'm connected. I am no longer just a girl on the train, going back and forth without point or purpose." ~ pg. 76
You may view the scenery and passengers a little differently during your morning commute on the train after reading this thriller. I personally do not get involved in domestic affairs; this novel is an example why. Yes, this is fiction but it could happen in real life. The Girl on the Train is easily one of the best books I've read thus far in 2015.
"Life is not a paragraph and death is no parenthesis." ~ pg. 11
I've seen a lot of comparisons to Gone Girl. They are both psychological thrillers. They both grip readers' attention until the very last page. Both are suspenseful popular lit. But the characters and story are nothing alike. I couldn't stand either main character in Gone Girl. Quite the opposite in The Girl on the Train. I favored Rachel no matter how flawed she was. She was a realistic person who couldn't get her shit together. The author, Paula Hawkins, found the perfect balance to make me trust and root for Rachel. With these similarities and differences said, I recommend The Girl on the Train to all Gone Girl readers but remember to read it without comparisons so you can enjoy it more.
Keep in mind, everything you THINK you know, may not be so. I see you, Paula Hawkins. You are now on my literary radar.
Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: January 2015
Challenge: New Authors, Popsugar Mystery or Thriller