Tag Archives: Hawkins

The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins

From the beginning, this novel disturbed me. (In a good way.) This novel has three female narrrators, Rachel, Megan, and Anna. All three are there own special kind of falling apart but Rachel to me, feels like the main character.

Anna, is the new wife of Rachel’s ex husband. I have no tolerance for her. I hate her. She is stupid and smug. I don’t want to talk about her anymore.

Megan is the most complex of the three. Her story spans the largest time gap but isn’t told in a clarifying way. She is emotional, uninspired and broken.

Throw all of these narrators together and sooner or later one of them was bound to end up dead.

Rachel starts off by telling us all sorts of things about a sweet couple that she see from the window on the way to work. It is stalker level 9000 but at the same time, it rings false. I mean, what kind of doctor lives in a house abutting the train tracks? And she did make things up about that sweet couple but that didn’t mean Rachel wasn’t a creepy stalker because wow, she took it to a new level for me. She has spiraled out of control and hit bottom with losing her husband, drinking, her job, her home. “I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.”

As for the storytelling, this book did not simply take you from one point to another. This is an unraveling, slowly picked apart. A scab, not completely healed. One moment, it is relieving to pick at the old skin in order to find the new skin peaking through. Then the next moment you are gushing blood wondering where you went wrong. That is exactly how it is for Rachel.

The plot is a path in a dark forest that constantly is twisting and turning, unfurling before you but you can’t really see where it is going. The crafting of this plot feels like it’s own dark and sinister character.

But it did have flaws. I cannot see Tom putting up with Rachel’s antics like he did, especially for so long. Though without that we wouldn’t have had a story. I also don’t see Scott’s fat shaming as believable for that social context. He spent the whole book trying to put on a performance of “great guy” to the people around him, it would have blown his cover. I also find the therapist’s character to be unbelievable. It feels like the author might not have known another way to get the audience much needed information. The actual need for a therapist was important but just not believable.

I highly recommend it. It is a great thriller and I don’t want to give too much away. So if I seem vaguer than usual that is why. 4.5 stars out of five.

And Tom got exactly what he deserved.