Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fiction Review: The Girl on the Train

I thought I was the last person on earth who hadn’t yet read the best-selling novel The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, so I was excited when my cousin chose it for our family book group (and I found out none of my cousins had read it yet either!). It is a convoluted, suspenseful story that kept me guessing right until the last pages.

Rachel is a mess. Her life has spun out of control, and she drinks way too much. Each day, she rides the commuter train to London from the suburb she lives in and back home again and stares out the window (and often drinks). She likes to look at the houses she passes and daydream about the people who live there.

One house in particular has caught her interest, right where the train stops most days. The couple living there look perfect to Rachel: a beautiful woman and a beautiful man with a beautiful relationship. She makes up names for them - Jess and Jason - and lives vicariously through them, watching through her window twice a day, as they relax on their back patio and live their lives.

One day, though, Rachel sees something in their backyard along the tracks that shocks her. It shatters her ideal picture of the couple. Soon after, she hears that Jess, whose real name is Megan, is missing. Rachel thinks that what she saw is important information for the police, though they don’t consider her a very reliable witness, and bit by bit, she entangles herself in the investigation. To make matters worse, Rachel drinks so much that she blacks out one night and she fears that something awful happened that night, as she tries to piece together where she was and what she did.

This is a novel that keeps you guessing, as secrets and lies are gradually revealed, and each one further complicates the story. By the end of the book, I think I had suspected almost every single character of something horrible! It’s a riveting tale of psychological suspense, where you don’t know who to trust. It easily kept my attention, which was quite a feat since I was going through some difficult times while I was reading it. This psychological thriller is perfect escapism, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

336 pages, Riverhead Books

P.S. As you might expect from its popularity, The Girl on the Train is being made into a movie! This article talks about some early casting decisions - this should be a good one!


  1. I haven't read it yet! So you are ahead of me. Glad to know that it lived up to the hype!

  2. I read this several months ago and really liked it:)

  3. Lol, you're not the last person to read it, I might be. I saw it was for $1.99 on Kindle today! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup, I still want to read it!