What’s it all about?:
EVERYDAY THE SAME
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…
What did I think?:
The Girl On The Train is the debut novel from author Paula Hawkins and when it first came out early last year there was a lot of hype surrounding it. Of course, I’m a bit of a sucker for hype and I knew I had to read it to check out what the fuss was all about. I do get a teensy bit annoyed (like some other bloggers I’m sure) when a book is declared “the next *insert name of very popular book here,* in this case it was “The next Gone Girl,” because I didn’t really feel it had too many similarities with Gone Girl to be honest! The book stands on its own as a great psychological thriller, a story with an edge and multiple twists that is exciting to read and intricately plotted leaving me in glorious anticipation over what the author may do next.
My favourite thing about this book (and where I think it is most comparable to Gone Girl) is the number of unreliable narrators. We mainly hear from Rachel who is divorced, a bit overweight and incredibly unhappy. She has a very shaky relationship with her ex-husband, relies a smidge too much on alcohol to see her through each day – to the point where she has actually lost her job. Too ashamed to tell anyone, which might actually lead to her having to face her problems she continues to get the same train into work each day, manages to fill each day randomly which usually involves drinking then gets the train home again when her working day should have officially ended.
Her train route passes by her old house which her ex-husband now shares with his new wife, Anna and their baby girl, tellingly something that Rachel herself was unable to give him. However, it is a house close to her old homestead that catches her eye whilst on the train. Every morning she watches a couple break-fasting together on their terrace and soon begins to fantasise about their fairy-tale life together, even naming them “Jess and Jason.” One particular day, when looking for her favourite couple, she witnesses something that shocks her to her core.
Unable to rest until she gets to the bottom of what has occurred, Rachel drags herself into the couple’s life which leads to her forming a separate link to her ex-husband and his wife again. Prone to black-outs from her drinking benders, can Rachel’s accounts ever be trusted? And what of our other unreliable narrators Anna and Megan (the female half of the couple Rachel views from the train)? I’m not going to spoil why they’re unreliable, I think the less you know going into this novel, the better but believe me, you’ll be scratching your head to unravel the convoluted plot that Paula Hawkins has magically woven. This is a truly thrilling story for fans of the genre, is certainly one I’ll be re-visiting in the future and I’m already eagerly awaiting the author’s next novel.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):