The Girl on the Train IMG_0223

5/5 stars. Thriller, Mystery/Suspense.

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?

Told from the perspectives of Rachel, Megan, and Anna, The Girl on the Train slowly reveals secrets into the disappearance of Megan Hipwell.

Rachel’s husband, Tom, left her for Anna on account of Rachel being an abusive drunk. Now, Rachel lives with a friend, Kathy, and rides the train into London to make Kathy think Rachel is still going to work – when she got fired months ago. The train passes by the road her old house is on – the one Tom still lives in with Anna and their child. Farther along the road is Megan and Scott’s house, who Rachel watches and imagines is the perfect couple.

Megan goes missing and Rachel freaks out. She was drunk that night – like she is most nights – on that road. The morning after Megan’s disappearance, Rachel wakes up with blood caked in her hair, vomit and urine on the floor. She was there, maybe she saw something, or maybe she had some part in the accident. She goes to the police, telling them she saw a man kissing Megan – who wasn’t Scott, her husband. Rachel befriends Scott, sure that he wasn’t a part of Megan’s absence and says she knew Megan as a friend.

Anna is scared of Rachel. The phone keeps ringing, Rachel keeps showing up at the house, and Anna is scared Rachel will harm Evie, Tom and Anna’s child. She wants to leave the house that Rachel had lived in while married to Tom, but Tom says they don’t have the money, so she stakes it out and hopes that someday she won’t sleep in the bed Rachel used to.

The Girl on the Train was instantly one of my top books. Maybe the top book I have read during this year. The minds of each narrator is so well done, each of their emotions justified, and the book really took the time to get into the minds of each woman to explore those minds and their roles in the story.

I listened to this as an audiobook and thought each of the readers did a great job voicing their characters.

The characters: I loved them all, although ‘loved’ might not be the right word as I guessed who might have been guilty. They were expertly crafted and you will not see better characters in nearly anything, or at least I haven’t.

The pacing: Hawkins revealed secrets at the exact right moment. There were never too many that bogged you down in confusion, trying to work through them, but enough to keep you thinking and never get bored.

The concept: The idea of someone disappearing isn’t anything new, but it was interesting to see how this one played out, with Rachel as an unreliable narrator, and how all the relationships between all of the characters came together in a wild lattice shape.

The movie: I watched this movie a long time ago and remember being hooked from the first minute. Thankfully, I forgot ‘who done it’ by the time I read the book and many of the details which made listening to the book fresh once again. Highly recommend the movie as well, although the book was better, in my opinion. They always are though.

It was fun to try and piece together the small things I might have remembered from the movie with the new information I was getting from book.

I read somewhere that this was one of the fastest selling hardback books ever – which meant that people wanted it and they wanted it immediately. Mystery and crime fans need to check this out if they haven’t already, and anyone else thinking about experiencing the genre should too because it is impossible to put down. It had me listening on walks to class, in the moments before I fell asleep, getting ready in the mornings, and while doing laundry.

Buy it from Amazon here.

4 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

  1. Hello Kailyn!
    Glad to hear that you enjoyed the book! I read this a while back and liked it as well. I’ll have to reread it again some time 🙂 Great review and thank you for sharing!

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