Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted November 3, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in Books, Entertainment / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Published by Doubleday Canada on January 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 316
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 038568231X
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

Three women, three men, connected through marriage or infidelity. Each is to blame for something. But only one is a killer in this nail-biting, stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession.

Just what goes on in the houses you pass by every day?

     Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and evening, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses.The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess, as she calls them, seem so happy. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman she calls Jess on the news. Jess has disappeared.

Through the ensuing police investigation, Rachel is drawn deeper into the lives of the couple she learns are really Megan and Scott Hipwell. As she befriends Scott, Rachel pieces together what really happened the day Megan disappeared. But when Megan's body is found, Rachel finds herself the chief suspect in the case. Plunged into a world of betrayals, secrets and deceptions, Rachel must confront the facts about her own past and her own failed marriage.

A sinister and twisting story that will keep you guessing at every turn, The Girl on the Train is a high-speed chase for the truth.

“A tiding of magpies: One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.”

Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train has recently been adapted for the Big Screen. The book centers around three women, Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Rachel rides the train to London every day and sees the same couple at one of her stops. Rachel is divorced, overweight, and very unhappy, so she creates a myth around this couple who she names Jason and Jess. Then one day “Jess” goes missing. In reality, “Jess” is really Megan Hipwell, and Rachel feel compelled to investigate the missing woman’s disappearance. After Megan’s body is found, Rachel becomes the prime suspect in the case, and must clear her name. However, Rachel’s ex-husband’s new wife, Anna, believes Rachel is guilty and will do anything to help the police put her away.

UGH! All of this sounds good, but I have to admit that this novel was painful to read at times. For one, I didn’t like any of the characters. The three main women were all horrible people, and the men in their lives weren’t any better. I didn’t feel sympathetic towards any of them, and found it difficult to root for any of them. Not only was Rachel a sad-sack character, but as a blackout drunk, her POV was unreliable. Megan was THE WORST, and Ana was a shrew. The men, Scott Hipwell and Tom Watson, were also assholes. Granted, we meet Scott after his wife disappears, so he’s not at his best, but boy was he a creep. Whenever I read a book where I can’t relate (or like) to any of the characters, it becomes very difficult to read it.

“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.”

As for the mystery, I’ll admit that I was somewhat surprised by the big reveal as it never occurred to me who the killer could be. However, once I found out the killer’s identity it really made sense, as all of the characters were horrendous people. So I guess you can say I was surprised, but not quite. I’ve wanted to read the novel since its release, but put it off due to all they hype surrounding it. Now that I’ve read it, I wish I could get back every hour I spent on this novel. Though it was well-written, getting through it was like pulling teeth. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, pass. It’s just not worth the hype or aggravation.

About Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.


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