September 20, 2015

About fifty pages into this book I started casting for the movie.  It’s that good.  If I may, before I continue with this book review, let me give you several numbers.

Title:  The Girl on The Train

Written By:  Paula Hawkins

Published By:  Riverhead Books

Copyright:  2015:  323 Pages

The main characters in the book are as follows: Rachel, Megan, Tom, Scott, Kamal, Anna, and Cathy.   Of course there are others but these carry the plot to fruition and a very, very surprising climax.  Did not see this one coming.  Rachel IS the girl on the train.

The early plot involves what Rachel sees day after day riding on the train to and from London.  As you might expect, when you pass the same houses, stores, buildings twice each day you learn to notice what is new and what might be happening with those living within the row-houses along the way.    We learn early in the book that Rachel lost her position as an accountant and is desperately trying to keep her sister Cathy from knowing she has been fired.  The train ride each day is an absolute ploy.  Rachel is an alcoholic and a recent divorcee living with her sister until she “gets back on her feet”.  She still has great affection for her ex husband Tom and calls and texts him frequently.  This bothers to no end Tom’s new girlfriend Anna.  You might expect that.    One evening from a window seat on the train, Rachel notices something very odd and surprising.     What she sees is shocking.  Even though it’s only a minute until the train moves on, it’s enough time to realize that everything will change forever.  Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

“The Girl on the Train” is a mystery and suspense novel and follows the lives of three women – Rachel, Anna, and Megan – and the events surrounding Megan’s murder, ultimately bringing the lives of the three women together in a very dramatic manner.

We find out that Megan is suffering from depression based on a void in her life, caused by the accidental death of her baby girl years before. It is revealed that, although she loves her companion Scott, it wasn’t enough to fill the void, and Megan seeks to fill that emptiness any way she can.  This includes various affairs and therapy.

Paula Hawkins chooses to construct the book moving from character to character detailing occurrences in their past as well as “real time”.   This may sound complex but the book does flow in a fashion keeping the reader wondering what event might happen next.  Due to Rachel’s fight with alcoholism, you wonder, as does she, if her memory about events leading up to Megan’s murder are real or imaginary.  This is a plus in developing the plot and the climatic ending.  As it turns out, she remembers correctly more than once.  Anna and Rachel escape with their lives in a very dramatic fashion.

If I told you much more I would be giving away the plot entirely, but I can definitely recommend this book to you.  It’s quite frankly, an easy read and one that will keep you enthralled until completion.  Buy it—check it out of the library—borrow it from a neighbor.  Read it.

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