The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is one book you don’t want to miss!
The Girl on the Train by author Paula Hawkins scored a spot on my favorites list even before I finished the book. The twists and turns were perfectly placed throughout the story and clues about the main character’s life are revealed at just the right time. Hawkins’ smartest move was to make the credibility of Rachel, the central character, wobbly at best; the reader moves back and forth between believing Rachel and questioning her memory. The overall plot was masterful and I couldn’t put the book down.
A warning for anyone intending on reading the book, there are light spoilers ahead:
The Girl on the Train is told from multiple points of view but mostly from the viewpoint of Rachel, an alcoholic woman in her 30’s. Rachel has become so depressed that she’s no longer motivated to get her addiction under control. She is lost and doesn’t know what to do with herself; despite having lost her job, Rachel travels to and from the city — riding the same scheduled trains she did when she was working.
It’s during this commute that Rachel first notices a couple she calls Jason and Jess who live in an apartment near one of the train stops. Rachel, who knows nothing about the pair, imagines their life together based on a momentary, daily glimpse through their windows. When something terrible happens on the street where Jason and Jess live, Rachel can’t help but insert herself into the situation. Rachel struggles to get her alcoholism under control and put her past behind her as she tumbles further into an investigation she may have no business being a part of.
Author Paula Hawkins’ does a great job of making the reader feel as if they’re in Rachel’s head; unable to trust what she does remember and unable to recover important, forgotten details. With every new, uncovered memory the reader is just as torn as Rachel is. Does she save herself or help save a new friend?
So… should you read the book?!
I highly recommend picking up The Girl on the Train if you haven’t read it already. Every time you think you know who Rachel is, what her role is and who did what to who; you’ll find out you were wrong with the next twist. Hawkins’ words are deliberate and well thought out, careful to never give away too much of the truth until it is absolutely necessary. This book is a great thriller, a fun read, and so worth your time! Pick it up now at Amazon.
Have you seen the movie?
The Girl on the Train has been released as a movie starring Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, and Rebecca Ferguson. If you’ve read the book already, you should check out the film, there are a few changes (location, plot points, etc.) but overall it’s not bad. If you haven’t read the book, I urge you to do that first – it’s far superior to the movie.
Watch the trailer below:
Still haven’t had enough?
Watch an interview with Paula Hawkins at “Politics and Prose” in Washington, D.C.: