Some of you may have already read Paula Hawins’ The Girl on the Train, but I just got around to reading it this summer in time for the movie’s release this fall.
When I first heard about the novel, I heard some comparisons to Gone Girl, which I enjoyed because it was one of the first books I had read that had twists that I never saw coming and I loved that. Is it similar? In my opinion it is similar in the fact that there are twists and also plenty of times that I kept trying to figure out what really happened and who is “good”, who’s “bad”, and/or is the character just insane?
The book follows a woman named Rachel. To say Rachel is going through a tough time would be an understatement. She is a huge mess after becoming an alcoholic and getting divorced from her husband. When the novel begins she’s already divorced, ex is remarried and has a baby. She spends her days taking the train to London every day pretending to go to work and still drunk from the night before. With her life being such a mess she looks forward to these train rides, especially when the train passes by some houses where she used to live. She’s not as interested in what’s going on in her old house with her ex and his new family as she is in another house a little ways down the road. She has been watching a couple for a while now and as the train slowly passes by their house she often sees them talking, eating, drinking wine, etc. Rachel has become so engrossed in this couple that in her mind she has created a whole storyline of their relationship and has even named them! In her imagination they are, of course, the perfect couple. Then, one day she sees the wife (real name Megan) with another man and Rachel is appalled. How could Jess (the imaginary name) do this to her husband?! Shortly after she witnesses Megan with another man, she sees the headlines that Megan has gone missing. The rest of the novel sees Rachel trying to figure out what happened to Megan and make the police take her seriously. I mean, who wouldn’t take an alcoholic who has been watching Megan inside her house from her train window for a long time, seriously?
At times I felt bad for Rachel because she’s been through so much and she just can’t seem to get it together. At other times I felt so frustrated with her because she would slip up or do something stupid and you just want to be like “come on!” you’re not going to ever get your life together if you keep drinking or making poor life choices.
If you enjoy a bit of a thriller/mystery that won’t have you figuring out the answers by the middle of the book then you should definitely give The Girl on the Train a read.
I’m interested to see how the movie will be. I noticed in the trailer that the movie does not take place in England like the book, but in the US which irks me a bit because I hate when they make big changes between a book and movie. I’m usually not too hard to please in movie adaptations, but major changes always bother me. The book to movie that I absolutely hated was “P.S. I Love You”. I loved the book and hated the movie. They changed everything even changing the main character from a young Irish woman to an American woman who had studied abroad in Ireland. Dumb. Anyway, I don’t know why they changed The Girl on the Train to take place in New York especially when they’ve cast Emily Blunt as Rachel and she’s British so you figure that one out.
Have you read The Girl on the Train?