Monday, 21 December 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Rating **** 325 pages. Published January 13 2015 by Riverhead Books

I feel like I've been winning a little bit with my book selections lately and The Girl on the Train is one that did not disappoint. I have been hearing so much about this book for ages that when I finally got around to reading it a few weeks ago I wondered if it could really live up to the hype. Touted as the next Gone Girl, I wasn't sure but I really couldn't put this book down.

Every morning on her work commute Rachel passes a house with a perfectly happy couple outside. Their seemingly perfect life reminds her of all that she used to have and Rachel goes about giving them names and inventing a perfect backstory each day she passes on the train. But when Rachel witnesses something shocking she inserts herself into the couples lives with dire consequences.

Rachel has problems. As an alcoholic she pretends to take the train to work each day so that she doesn't have to tell her flatmate that she was recently let go from her job. Despite her lying and I guess somewhat morally ambiguous ways I really liked the character of Rachel. She's a total mess but I liked that she was battling her own demons but yet trying to do the right thing when she interferes with her perfect strangers lives.

Narrated by Rachel, the novel unfolds through her eyes as she tries to piece what she can remember of her own whereabouts at the time of the incident she whitnesses. As a blackout drunk she's not the most reliable of narrators and thus The Girl on the Train is a fantastic mystery since even Rachel has no idea what she has been involved in.

Although a lot of people have compared this to Gone Girl the writing doesn't quite have the same depth but that doesn't take anything away from what The Girl on the Train is; a fantastically hard to put down book that had me drawn in until the very end.


  1. I read this book and really loved it! I found it to be so gripping.

  2. I also recently read this and found it hard to put down as well. I think my favorite part of the whole book is simply that Rachel is such an unreliable narrator. I haven't read Gone Girl so I can't compare the two but I will say this novel prompted me to read a different Gillian Flynn novel: Sharp Objects. I enjoyed that one quite a bit. Something about diving into the heads of highly unstable narrators...

    / okaythanksmaria


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