One dead body, three unreliable narrators – Who did it? You will hate every character but love the story altogether.
Title: The Girl On The Train Author: Paula Hawkins Publisher: Riverhead Books (US); Double Day (UK) Publish Date: Jan 13, 2015 Goodreads: 3.8/5 Barnes and Noble: 3.9/5 #1 New York Times Bestseller
Every Day The Same
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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 goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
So I decided to try a rather different approach in reviewing this book, specifically because, if I do it the way as I did in my past reviews, I may reveal too much.
The story follows three girls: Rachel, Megan and Anna, all of whom are connected to the murder of a girl.
Rachel is an alcoholic who is left by her ex-husband, Tom. Unable to move on from their divorce, Rachel still uses her ex’s last name and calls Tom every night ranting her feelings despite Tom having a different life now with his new wife, Anna.
Anna is Tom’s current wife with their daughter Evie. She has always hated Rachel, especially when Rachel became incessantly annoying and endangering her family. To her, Rachel is a psychopath and longs for revenge against her for taking Tom.
Megan is an insomniac trying to get her life back after losing her job at the gallery. She suffers from insomnia. She babysits for Anna and Tom for some time, thinking it was therapeutic to be around children, but later decides to end it and Scott, her husband, persuaded her to go see a psychiatrist.
Every chapter we follow deep into the thoughts of the three narrators – their desires, their judgments, their opinions. Paula Hawkins drives us mad on who we should trust, especially as later on, the narrators admit their lies from the preceding chapters, constantly voicing their version of the story.
However, the book reveals how crazy a domestic suburban girl’s thoughts can be the deeper we delve into them. It shows what women wish for in the fight for love, companionship and security. That down in the deep corner of their minds, they would not mind that officemate fired or that housemate evicted or even that neighbor killed. That despite their hate of becoming like someone, they eventually end up becoming like them. (Which of course applies to both genders).
I see a lot of reviews comparing this book to Gone Girl (which I’ve only watched the movie and not read the book). I have to admit, it is hard not to. The premise of murder, roles of women, sex and domestic violence, all of it goes into play in both books. In that light, I do think the Gone Girl is still in another level. I was amazed at how Amy was able to plot everything and get away with it and at the same time scared for Nick as he goes through his life stuck with Amy.
I didn’t have that feeling when I read The Girl On The Train. Probably because there was a resolution in the end and there was not much maniacal plotting involved but rather just a consequence of lies and cheating.
I literally read this in one day. It’s that exciting.
The book is awesome and I do recommend this to people who are into this genre. It has the exact amount of suspense you’d expect from a thriller book and the voices of the three women will drive you insane and have you flip pages in no time. It starts a bit slow and annoying but soon after, the thrill kicks in and you’d want to finish the book right away.
“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.”
“If you want someone badly enough, morals don’t come into it.”
“If he does it with you, he’ll do it to you.”
Hope you guys found my review entertaining and informative.
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CHEERS TO HAPPY READING!