~ Synopsis ~
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than god?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.
I have been carrying this book around on my Kindle for over a year – I remember grabbing it sometime in 2015 when it hit $1.99 on Amazon …. I just never got around to reading it. But, of course, the second I watch the trailer? I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I got home and nearly devoured this story in one sitting.
Now this book has been compared to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn so much, and honestly that’s probably one of the reasons I never got around to reading it. Gone Girl was not one of my favorites – I liked it, it was an interesting story – but it just didn’t wow me. The Girl on the Train? I wouldn’t say it was a WOW but definitely a Whoa… (does that even make sense?)
The story hooked me in pretty much from the beginning – and I could not put it down. I was up until nearly 2 am trying to finish it, before I just passed out – dreamt about it and immediately picked it back up when I woke up.
Rachel is unbelievably vulnerable, and it was that vulnerability – regardless of the reasons why…. she hooked me. That character… she is so damaged, confused and still trying to deal with the after affects of her divorce…. and everything that entails. During her daily commute she’s almost haunted by her old life as the train passes her old neighborhood…. her old house…. a house that is now filled with a life she is no longer a part of. She becomes pre-occupied with a couple she see’s from the train. Their house, on the same street as her previous home. She even names them… she recreates what their day to day lives are like. She tries to imagine the passion they share – the love that the feel for one another. Perhaps imagining the love she and her husband once shared. It’s sad… it’s utterly depressing. But it was very real. The emotions that Rachel goes through, though her actions may not be the brightest… they’re still very real. She’s fragile in the most honest way.
But when the woman she’s been watching from the train disappears – the fantasy she’s been building in her mind of this woman, and her husband? Comes crashing down…. all around her and the fantasy doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.
Rachel dives in head first into this story – into these lives. At times you may even wonder if any of it was real or if it’s all in her head? There is nothing more curious than an unreliable narrator; and that is the purest definition of Rachel.
I went into this story with a very open mind – knowing it was a psychological thriller. What I wasn’t prepared for was the mind-fuck it would lead me through and now I can’t even explain it properly without ruining the entire story. Arg! Even my husband wouldn’t let me spoil it for him because he liked the looks of the trailer!
The Girl on the Train is a great suspenseful read – the perspectives it gives are eye opening and at times jaw dropping.
Check it out!
About the Author, Paula Hawkins
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in London. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller. (via the author’s website)