Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: 15 Jan 2015
I was gifted this book by my sister at Christmas, and it was only a few weeks ago that I actually picked it back up (once I realised I was seriously lacking in reading material for a long train journey back up to London).
Luckily, reading this particular novel on a train makes a whole lot of sense, as this is the premise for the plot – yes, you may have guessed that from the title. The girl in question is Rachael, and the train is a commuter heavy service heading into central London. Rachael takes this train at the same time every morning, and again in the evening, going to and from work we presume. Anyone who travels on trains a lot, like myself, will know that the journey can be very boring, even if you have your music on and a good book to read. So it is natural that Rachael notices things on her journey; faulty signal lights, the spot where the train waits on each journey, the same houses and the same people in those houses.
There is a particular couple that live in one of the houses she passes – Jessica and Jason, she names them – who catch her attention. They seem to have the perfect life. Rachael imagines the job Jason has, and watches with envy the way he kisses Jessica before he leaves for work. She makes up Jessica’s personality, her voice, how she wears her make-up, the kind of friends she has. Rachael watches them both for a few minutes each morning as she passes, and feels as if she almost knows them.
Then, one morning, something has changed. She sees something shocking, and then she has information that no one else knows. What Rachael does with this information that shapes the rest of the book.
If you haven’t already guessed it, Rachael is not the most stable of characters. She has lots of issues, and has more connection to the street her Jessica and Jason live on than we are led to believe at first. Her life has taken a drastic downward spiral due to the breakdown of her marriage and her heavy drinking. If only she could have a life like Jessica, who seems to have the perfect marriage, a nice house and a loving husband.
However, Rachael’s ‘Jessica’, actually named Megan, is not as perfect as she seems. She recently lost her art gallery, and is struggling with her husband Scott’s desire to start a family. Then something happens that changes everything for Megan, and gives Rachael a purpose – a reason to stop drinking and help solve a mystery.
You’ve probably heard of this book already, and there is a film in the works with Emily Blunt playing Rachael, so if you haven’t yet picked this novel up, here’s your cue!
If you read and liked Gone Girl or Room, then The Girl on the Train is the perfect read for you. It’s not too long and is set into short chapters so you can dip in and out easily, not that you’ll want to! This is definitely addictive reading.
If you’ve read this title, let me know what you thought 🙂