I recently finished reading this absolutely amazing book, The Girl on the Train, I am sure you have probably heard of it. The Girl on the Train is a debut, thriller novel written by Paula Hawkins. This is a very hard book to review without revealing any spoilers but I will try my best, I promise I won’t give anything important anyway.
One thing you should know before reading this book is you need to be prepared to let the housework pile up, your other hobbies to be ignored and your other half to be pretty much neglected for the time it takes you to read it. You will not be able to put it down and that, my friends, is a fact.
The Girl on the Train is a novel told through the voice of several different characters but the story predominantly belongs to Rachel, an unhappy divorcee, who is a borderline alcoholic. Rachel travels to work on the same train every single day and to add a bit of interest to her otherwise boring commute, she makes up stories about a couple she sees regularly from the window. The couple live in a house down by the train tracks. A house just doors down from the one that Rachel once shared with her husband Tom.
Rachel has named the couple Jess and Jason and she fantasies about their perfect life together. Jason a loving, protective husband and Jess a happy, beautiful wife. In Rachel’s mind they are the perfect couple, the definition of true love. They have the type of marriage she wishes she could have had.
One day Rachel’s fantasy of the couple is shattered when she spies something out of the window of the train. What she sees may seem irrelevant to anyone else aboard the 8.04 to London, but to Rachel it changes everything. Bad things start to happen, we learn more about the real people behind Rachel’s daydream, perhaps Jess and Jason are not as perfect as they may seem from the other side of a window? Perhaps Rachel has had more to do with recent, horrific events than she even realises herself? The reader is not the only one left wondering what is going on as, thanks to her drink problem, Rachel regularly blacks out, bits of the night before just disappear from her memory, sometimes lost forever.
The chapters switch between characters and by the end it is difficult to decide which narrative to trust. Hawkins makes sure you don’t figure anything out too early and she is very good at building suspense and leaving you hanging for pages on end, desperate to know what happens next. Sometimes the end of the book can be a bit disappointing, especially if you figure out the secrets the author wants to keep as a surprise before the big reveal. However, just when I thought I had figured everything out, Hawkins spun the plot around and suddenly the story was running off, full speed in a different direction, one that I never saw coming.
If you are looking for an exciting, really well written page turner then you need to read The Girl on the Train. The voyeurism , complex characters and thrilling plot make this an absolute must for your book shelf. Make sure you read it before the film comes out too.
Have you read The Girl on the Train? What did you think? Have you got any good book recommendations for me? I would love to know your thoughts.