A few days ago I finished up the popular novel, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Overall, I loved this novel and am looking forward to seeing the movie!
The main character of this novel, Rachel, takes the train into London everyday. Everyday she sees the same scene, the same people, and uses this monotony to create a fictitious life about her favorite couple she sees while riding the train–Jess and Jason–or Megan and Scott Hipwell, which are their real names. However, one day while riding the train, Rachel sees something that makes her view Megan and Scott in a different light. As the novel progresses, we learn more about Rachel and her past, as well as other characters that are involved in the plot through their first person narrations. Eventually, Rachel finds herself in the middle of an investigation, questioning her own narrative and her own past, and finding out that she might have more in common with Megan Hipwell than she thought.
Similar to probably everyone else in the world, I absolutely loved this novel, its twists and turns, and the varying character narrations. I think telling the story from three different perspectives–all female, mind you–served Hawkins’s story well. A first-person narration is unreliable anyways, so having three first-person narrations, one of which was told through a drunk woman’s wavering memory, only added more mystery to the plot.
I loved all of the twists and turns sprinkled throughout the plot. It reminded me of an episode of Law and Order: SVU, in which you think you know who the killer is, but then something happens and everything you thought you knew goes out the window; in The Girl on the Train, I was guessing until the very end. At one point I was checking how many pages were left because I was fearful we would never find out what actually happened!
It was hard to like any male character in the novel…which isn’t a bad thing. With every narrative told from a female character, we truly got to see how they feel about the different male characters from their inner personas. As such, the men were not favorable. Although the female characters–Rachel, Megan, and Anna–all have their own stories within the novel, they all seemed to have much more in common than any of them would have thought; all of the female characters experienced relatively the same narrative in their own ways.
I am interested to watch the movie and see if they stuck to the general plot or not!
To read or not to read?
Read, read, read! This is a great novel for anyone who loves mysteries and suspense. Don’t pass it over just because you think it’s too hyped up–honestly, it’s good.