The Girl on the Train

Girlr on the train

by Paula Hawkins
Published January 13th 2015
Mystery/Fiction
4 Stars

 

“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.”

I went into this book expecting another Gone Girl experience but I got something else. I don’t understand why the two are being linked to each other, maybe it’s the whole mystery aspect but other than that they are two completely different books. I think what people were looking for was something after being done with Gone Girl, something along the same lines and this gave almost the same experience. It was kind of like the whole ‘books to read after 50 Shades of Grey’.

“There’s nothing so painful, so corrosive as suspicion.”

The brilliance of this book is that all of the characters introduced are a mess. I didn’t empathize with any one of them. They all felt like the suspect throughout the whole book and this had me hooked. I didn’t have just one person who I thought did it but a bunch of them I suspected. It was so hard for me to put down the book. I was reading it everywhere!

“If I sit in carriage D, which I usually do, and the train stops at the signal, which it almost always does, I have a perfect view into my favorite trackside house: number fifteen.”

The story is told form three POVs Rachel, Meghan and Anna. Rachel is the lonely divorcee who does not have a life together. She has not yet recovered from her divorce and in turn is an alcoholic. The alcoholism started way before the split from her ex but it plays a major roll.  Meghan is the victim in the story. Rachel normally sees her from the train she takes every single working day into London. She ends up missing and Rachel thinks that she holds the answers to what could have happened to her form her observations. Anna is the wife to Rachel’s ex-husband and also happens to be the one he cheated on her with. Anna also lives on the same street as Meghan and Meghan babysat for Rachel at some point.

“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”

These characters are all interconnected with each of them baring different opinions about each other. Rachel can hardly remember things after her days of heavy drinking and she struggles to piece together what happened on the fateful day Meghan went missing. At the same time, Anna feels like she is being constantly harassed by Rachel because of the phone calls she keeps on making to her ex-husband Tom when she is drunk out of her mind.

“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts. Who was it said that following your heart is a good thing? It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.”

Anna reports this to the police and they dismiss all the information she has because they think she is an attention seeking alcoholic. You can’t blame them for that conclusion. She lost her job and keeps pretending that she goes to works everyday all the while drinking from morning. She has addiction to store bought gin and tonic.

“They’re what I lost, they’re everything I want to be.”

From the beginning you can see her addiction to Meghan and her husband Scott who she dubs Jess and Jason. She doesn’t know them but assumes that they are madly in love with each other and they are the picture of what her life would have been like if Anna had not come in and ruined it all for her. So when she sees the headline that ‘Jess’ is missing, she takes it personally and goes out of her way to try and give her side of the story. She meets with the police and Scott telling them what she knows.

“When did you become so weak?” I don’t know. I don’t know where that strength went, I don’t remember losing it. I think that over time it got chipped away, bit by bit, by life, by the living of it.”

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a thriller. The themes the author focus on are any ordinary theme you find in every other book but she executes it in an amazing way. She tackles the jilted lover, cheating, alcoholism and abuse. It’s all about domestic drama but delivered in an interesting way. The character development was done well and not everything thrown at you at one go. This was absolutely worth it! I had fun reading it and trying to come up with the culprit. I wanted to find out more every time even when I had to put it down, I couldn’t help myself and try to make up stories in my head on how it would unfold once I picked it up again.

“How much better life must have been for jealous drunks before emails and texts and mobile phones, before all this electronica and the traces it leaves.”

The movie will be coming out in October 2016 and I will definitely be watching it. I can already see some differences from the book just from watching the trailer. I know it will not be the same thing and I promise ill shut up about how it wasn’t as great as the book was. I love Emily Blunt hence I am sure I will enjoy the movie as much as I enjoyed the book.

I gave it four stars because the ending just didn’t excite me. It was rather anticlimactic after the buildup. It wasn’t a bad ending, just not that great.

“You’re like one of those dogs, the unwanted ones that have been mistreated all their lives. You can kick them and kick them, but they’ll still come back to you, cringing and wagging their tails. Begging. Hoping that this time it’ll be different, that this time they’ll do something right and you’ll love them.”

Get your copy here:
Amazon
Text Book Centre (Kenya)

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