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?
Wow! The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a fantastic thriller that left me speechless. If you’re looking for a new book to read, this is it. I know I am one of the last book worms to jump on the Paula Hawkins train (pun intended) but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take my word for it. I read Paula Hawkins’ debut novel every second that I could while, obviously, still taking care of a toddler. I read it when he slept, napped, and was independently playing. Luckily, Jimmie also likes to read. While he read his board books, I read my book.
When I first started reading The Girl on the Train, I thought the entire novel was going to be about the main character, Rachael, sitting on the train, going to and from work. I quickly realized that other character’s point of views were present in the story, Megan and Anna’s. The daily train riding slowly faded away as the novel chugged along. Making this book about more than just a passenger on a train.
Rachel is a struggling alcoholic who can’t accept that her ex-husband has moved on with the woman he cheated on her with. Megan is her ex-husband’s neighbor and Anna is the mistress. All three women, all different, but connected by the train that Rachel takes twice a day to and from London, England. This thriller is so creepy that I had nightmares after reading it, two nights in a row. It got into my head and made me think about how you never know what is going on in someone else’s life. You can’t judge a person by the small glimpses you have of them, just like you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Just like everyone else in the world, I can see the similarities between The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. To be honest, I think The Girl on the Train is better. The entire time I was on edge trying to figure out who was good and who was bad; I was second guessing myself and the characters, non-stop. One minute I liked Rachel, the next I hated her, and the next I felt bad for her. The book really brings you inside the mind of an alcoholic. I kept rooting for Rachael, hoping she could get her act together, hoping that she wasn’t the bad guy. Not that I have had the energy to have more than few drinks since having Jimmie, but it made me never want to overindulge in alcohol ever again. Maybe this book should be put on the required reading lists for college students, better yet, high school students.
As much as I wanted to finish The Girl on the Train to see how everything turned out, I also didn’t want it to end. I wanted to savor every word on every page as I got closer and closer to finding out who was in the wrong. It’s always surprising to me when I get to the end of a novel and I’m left stunned. This was how I felt when I finally finished The Girl on the Train. You think you know someone, but then they end up being someone else entirely.
The Girl on the Train movie adaption will hit theaters October 7, 2016. I can’t wait!