The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

by missizziemcguinness


‘I’m stuck on three, I can’t get any further,’ 

The Girl on the Train is a book about an alcoholic called Rachel who catches the same train everyday but the train overlooks a row of back gardens, one of which is her ex husband’s house. She imagines that she knows the people until she becomes a part of the people’s lives-including harassing her ex husband and his new family and being wrapped up in the murder of a woman that she never knew that well.

Firstly, I thought that the book was way too mature for me. I’m nearly seventeen but I think the target market was for the over twenties. The premise of the story is interesting and, like she people watches on trains, I like to people watch in waiting rooms but I would never want to be involved in their lives.

This book will never be in my ‘Top 10’ books list, and as a reader I felt like yelling ‘leave your ex husband Tom alone!’, but sometimes, as a reader I was made to feel sorry for her. I think that’s what the writer wanted us to think. I didn’t give that much thought into it because I was reading it while I was on holiday and I had never read it before. I also found it unnecessary that Rachel and Scott had a one night stand after he found out that his wife had died. Is that really necessary?

The final line in the entire book was ‘and I’ll have to get up early to catch the train’. It therefore leaves us with an open ending, and it suggests that her life carries on. The train could also be a metaphor for the passing of time but I won’t look too deeply into that.

Despite the fact that the book was too mature for me, I like how the author makes her characters flawed and realistic. The main character is a creepy stalkerish alcoholic who cannot get over her ex husband, even if he had an affair while they were still married, the ex husband Tom is a sex obsessed and manipulative man who wasn’t very supportive of his ex wife and he honestly sounds like a bit of a twat, and his new wife Anna just wants his past to get out of their family life while taking care of their daughter, and she’s a bit of a home wrecker. The character of Megan, who Rachel thought to have had a happy life, ends up dead. The book is basically Fatal Attraction meets Closer. Now all you need is a rabbit and a strip club. The story also teaches you that people might look happy on the outside, and they might not be happy together in private. After all, you only get a glimpse of someone’s life if you see them in public.

Apparently there is a film of it coming out starring Emily Blunt as Rachel, but I don’t have any desire to see it, and even if I did, it would be interesting how they transitioned from page to screen.

Overall, an imaginative, relatively decent and a very chilling book.