“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins: A Book Review

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins: A Book Review

the girl on the train

In anticipation of the film adaption of The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux, and more, I decided to pick up this Gone Girl- esque book by Paula Hawkins. The book is written as a first person narrative of three women, Rachel, Anna and Megan. Most of the story is from the perspective of Rachel, a drunk 32- year old drunk divorcée, trying to piece together her life after her husband Tom, has left her and started a new life, with a baby girl and all with Anna. Every day Rachel rides the train from her home to London, all while passing the house of Scott and Megan Hipwell. She has observed their loving relationship, and has named them Jason and Jess, not really knowing their true identities. One day, Rachel observes Jess kissing another man and she becomes very upset. Not too much later, she learns of the disappearance of her beloved Jess, learning her real name and identity to be Megan Hipwell. 

Rachel can’t just stand idly by and must tell the detectives she saw another man kissing Jess. Her involvement with the police and the fact that Anna, Tom’s new wife had seen Rachel around their neighborhood the night Megan disappeared has thrown Rachel into the spotlight. Coupled with the fact that Rachel’s rabid alcoholism has resulted in black out drunk moments where she can’t remember anything, she has no way to account for her whereabouts or actions the night of Megan’s disappearance. She only knows that she may have been there, but she has no concrete memories of that night. Rachel, scared and determined, sets off to discover the true events of the night that Megan Hipwell disappeared.

The story is incredibly suspenseful and intriguing. Each page is a new revelation and wonderful woven tale of deceit and lies. Told from the perspective of three different people, the story can be a bit confusing as it does jump back and forth between the times when the entries are written, but not so much as to hurt the story. That is more personal preference for me. The story is really well-written, and the characters are developed in such a way that each page or so changes your perspective on the characters multiple times. It will have you guessing until the very end. I highly recommend reading this page-turner before the film releases this year. That way you can tell all your friends if the book really is better than the film.

The Girl on the Train shows you that  regardless of who you know, how many times you pass their house, or see private loving moments between two people, you never really truly know someone and of what they are capable.

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