The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 5/5
First and foremost, it IS true what they say… if you liked Gone Girl you will absolutely love this novel. It does follow a very similar plot with a twist; with each page you learn one more new and interesting part of the story. Never revealing too much; and never seeing quite enough to figure out who-done-it.
We start off slowing learning about Rachel. At first, she seems like an ordinary middle aged adult riding the train to work. But maybe something is a little off about her. Maybe she’s a little depressed. Maybe she’s a little drunk. Maybe she is a little weird. Maybe she’s hung up her painful past. Maybe she is a little too interested in the people she sees every day from the train window. And maybe she killed her.
Everyone has a past. Some are great, some are good, some are sad, some are just downright bad. Rachel’s past is somewhere between the good, the sad and the very bad. She is still hung up on her ex husband, she has a drinking problem, and is lying to her roommate about still having a job. When you’re in your early thirties that is probably not the greatest place to be. Since Rachel is pretending to still go to work, she rides the same train in and out of the city every day. In order to cope with her own life and the painful divorce, she begins to imagine the lives of a couple she sees out the window.
In alternating chapters we start to see what this couple’s life is really like. It is not all fancy drinks, sundresses, and forehead kisses as Rachel embellishes to herself. Rachel learns the truth the hard way, and how everything else is tied together, when Megan goes missing. Due to Rachel’s severe drinking problem she is aware that she may or may not have been there that night. She may or may not have seen Megan, aaaaand she may or may not have killed her. Part of her has blocked out the memory, the other part just doesn’t want to know. But in the meantime, the sober part of her can’t help but get involved in the investigation to find out her part.
With each chapter we slowly learn how great Rachel’s problems are, while alternatively learning about Megan and her life leading up to her disappearance. The novel is extremely well developed, the characters are complexe and interesting. You get sucked in until the very end. It’s very unclear until it happens, what will actually happen next. I literally got through it in one sitting, and can’t imagine anyone else being able to put it down unless your life depended on it. Five stars, two thumbs up, and all kinds of other positive feedback on this one!
P.S. I just found out this will be a movie in 2016!