Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Double Day
Release Date: January 2015
When Megan, the woman in that house, goes missing, Rachel takes it upon herself to tell the police what she has seen during her commutes into London. As an alcoholic whose drinking causes blackouts and memory loss, she becomes an unreliable witness and narrator. But are her claims really all that dubious?
Paula Hawkins masterfully writes a suspenseful thriller told through the intertwined narratives of three women, each of them just as unreliable as the next. And despite the number of narrators in this novel, we discover each of their histories and how they all link together on Blenheim Road. Furthermore, Hawkins has a real talent for timing. The novel lulls just when I thought I had it figured out, then suddenly she surprises with a new revelation, making it even more difficult to fit the pieces of this strange and mysterious puzzle together.
Every character in this novel is horrible. They are liars, cheaters, secretive, scheming, abusive, and yet the novel makes a great case study in character development. Reading the story through the eyes of each character and seeing them through the eyes of the other narrators gave me a whole new perspective on their character, their reasoning, and their problems. I gained a new, different sense of understanding. I began to see, and at times, empathize, with the reasoning behind their actions no matter how wrong or troubling they may have been.
This was a real page turner. I read it mostly during my own train commuting and I would be lost in the mystery of pages before me for hours at a time, distracted only by my own nervousness of missing my stop. My only set back while reading this novel, however, was that I sometimes became confused with whose perspective I was reading. But I seem to do that whenever I read multiple-narrative novels, so it might just be me.
I highly recommend this to anyone in need of a good psychological thriller, because Paula Hawkins delivers in The Girl on the Train. Literally seconds after reading the last pages of the novel, I gave it to my friend to read — that’s how much I loved it.