I read The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins for my bookclub this month, but I’ve been hearing about it all over goodreads and twitter. It was a fast read, that’s for sure–I read it in two short sittings (one Friday evening and the next morning). This would be a great beach read or something to read when you’re on a trip and need a book that will suck you in wanting to know the story behind the mystery.
The subject matter is dark, and the content a little confusing (I had to recheck the dates for some entries). I liked that we heard from 3 perspectives (Rachel, Megan, and Anna) but it might have been interesting to read the viewpoint of one of the men in the book. This has been compared to Gone Girl a lot because there’s a murder and the content is about some pretty messed up marriages, but I think this book’s main difference from Gone Girl is the likeability of the characters–in Gone Girl I found myself disliking the characters but wanting to read more. In this book, I found myself liking the characters, and therefore wanting to read more.
Essentially, Rachel rides the train everyday, passing by her old house on her way to work (SPOILER ALERT) even though she’s actually lost her job and doesn’t want to tell her kind roommate. She becomes obsessed with the disappearance of the neighbor of her ex-husband, and inserts herself into the investigation in all kinds of inappropriate ways. The problem is, she’s an active alcoholic, and therefore cannot be trusted by the police. I thought her perspective was the most interesting because of her blackouts and desire to discover what actually happened during her drunk nights. I hate to talk about the plot anymore because I don’t want to give anything away. Here are some favorite quotes from her narrative:
*”Blackouts happen…total black; hours lost, never to be retrieved.”
*”Sadness gets boring after a while, for the sad person and for everyone around them. And then I went from being a drinker to being a drunk, and there’s nothing more boring than that.”
*”Hollowness…the holes in your life are permanent…you have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete.”