There has been on much hype surrounding the Girl on the Train; named the next Gone Girl, it has been the most anticipated book of January 2015 and topping the number one New York Bestseller. I read Gone Girl this year, which I really enjoyed, so I knew the Girl on the Train is a must-read.
This book is written in the first person point of view of three unreliable narrators: Rachel, Megan and Anna, all of whom are unlikeable (no surprise). The cause of Rachel’s recent divorce reduced her to becoming a depressed alcoholic and losing her job, as a result she goes on a daily commute on the train to pretend she’s going to work and thus became obsessed with a ‘perfect’ couple she sees on the terrace and she named them Jess and Jason. Megan is the girl on the terrace who succeeded in cheating and Anna is the new wife of Rachel’s ex-husband.
It’s always been said that it takes 3 seconds to make a good first impression. When you start reading the first few chapters, I began to form a judgment on Rachel. I did feel sorry for her because she couldn’t pull herself together and stop drinking but her actions were a bit crazy. It gave me an impression that Rachel was lonely and to be part of something (the murder investigation) made her feel wanted. I was thinking why did she care so much about people she did not know? Who were these strangers to her? Nothing at all. Did they care? No. But once you read it, you understand the reason and the significance behind her choices.
One character in particular has a dark secret; I’m not going to say who it is because of spoilers. It was quite shocking and surprising to read about them. It’s not what you’d see coming but its something that’d make the front-page tabloid news.
A ‘whodunit’ storyline always entices me to keep reading, it’s so addictive! Once you know where the story is heading, you won’t want to put it down. Ironically, I read the first two chapters on the train. I use to go on daily train commutes to and from Art College and university; the train always had to stop midway before arriving at London Bridge for about 5 minutes or less. At that stop, there are really nice and expensive looking apartment flats with terraces. There would be no one there on the terraces but sometimes you’ll catch glimpses of people in their apartment doing whatever they’re doing. Sometimes, we get nosy but Rachel went a bit too far, giving Megan and Scott names and branding them a perfect couple, even though she knew absolutely nothing about them. Looks are deceiving.
The Girl on the Train was not as mindfuck as Gone Girl but it was still such a fantastic read. I just couldn’t stop reading and kept me at the edge of my seat! I needed to know what happened. There were several people who you’d speculate and I only worked it out just before it was revealed. It kept me guessing a lot on whodunit because it wasn’t clear who was the culprit but then it all came together in a plot twist. I find it hard to believe that this is Paula Hawkin’s first book. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, then you will definitely love the Girl on the Train.