I´m the kind of person that has to read the book everyone´s talking about. No wonder I thus picked up the newly published, and already very hyped novel “Girl on the train” once I spotted it in the bookstore. Having thought about it for quite a while, I decided to write my own verdict on it, and basically tell you if that book really is worth the hype.
The girl on the train is called a thirtysomething woman called Rachel, who, commuting to London every day, spots a couple in a bypassing house. For Rachel, the seemingly perfect relationship between the unknown man and the woman, who she baptizes Jess and Jason, represents everything she herself longs for: a stable live with a healthy and loving relationship, none of which Rachel has. Ever since her ex-husband, Tom, left her for much younger Anne two years ago, Rachel´s live has been spiraling downwards: from her alcoholism, which caused her husbands avert, to her recent unemployment which she is still unable to confess to her flatmate Cathy, Rachel doesn´t have any control over her life. In addition to that Rachel seems to be doing things she can´t remenber the next day every time she gets drunk.
When she then one morning sees the personification of a successful and fulfilled woman, Jess, kissing another man on her balcony while being in the train, Rachel presumes this as a personal resentment. Hence, her addiction to alcohol only continues to surge.. After a while, Rachel however finds a new meaning in her life when one day Jess goes missing. On the same evening as Rachel was out, drowning her sorrows in alcohol in Jess´ neighbourhood that is. Not knowing why she got home with a blood-cover wound, Rachel decides to try to tell Jess husband, who is in reality called Scott, about his wife´s extramarital affair and thus, she generously tries to lure herself into Scott´s life. At the same time, she still struggles with the fact that a couple of houses beside Scott´s and Megan´s mansion now lives her ex-husband Tom with new wife and baby. In fact, Rachel´s jealousy makes her go as far as vandalizing Anne alongside her baby.
From this point on in the novel, Paula Hawkins creates a climaxing tension that makes this book an absolute page-turner; while no one seems to be taking Rachel´s hints at Megan´s affair seriously, Scott finds himself being more and more in the role of the culprit. Additionally, Tom´s and Anne´s feelings and perceptions of the strange situation, whatever they may be, are also portrayed in the novel more and more.. Generally I think that it more is the excellent technique of depicting this unique story that makes this novel so interesting and full of suspense for the reader, rather than the mere storyline including the very end of the novel itself. What I liked in particular about this novel is the fact that the reader gained an insight into each of the character´s minds as well as the thrilling and surprising deroulement of the story at the end of the book. Each character in this novel could be one of us, and me personally being a fan of such a setup, I found this book a very pleasurable read.
Did you read the girl on the train? How did you like it?
Thanks for reading,