Novel: The Girl On The Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Source: OC Public Library
The Girl On The Train is a fast– paced psychological thriller. When I added “Gone Girl” to my list of to-read books, GoodReads recommended this title. Later I looked up the title in my local library. To my astonishment, there existed close to 70 holds on the audiobook and around 30 on the hard copy, enough to boost my interest. Apart from the holds, the mixed reviews on the GoodReads and the resemblance to “Gone Girl” strengthened my choice.
After the movie release in October, the holds on the book expanded. Still, I placed the hold on the novel in December. The book became available to me in February. I was then listening to a novel, so passed up on this one. This May, the audiobook became available (no holds!). I promptly borrowed it. After listening to the novel, I can understand the hype around the novel. And why I couldn’t get hold of it sooner.
Rachel lost her job and marriage to alcohol. She lives with her former classmate in Ashbury. But keeps her roommate in dark about her job situation by commuting daily to London on the train. Her train passes through Whittany where she once lived with her ex-husband, Tom. Tom lives with her new wife in the same house she once bought and furnished by herself. The sight of that house and the changed curtains on her daily makes her go for that drink.
To soothe herself from her life’s woes, she becomes obsessed with a couple living few doors down her former house in Whittany. Now she focuses on their terrace to catch a sight of them. She even names them Jess and Jason. She paints their characters and their lives with her imagination.
One morning, Rachel wakes up in her room disoriented and bloody. There is a bump on her forehead. When she strives to remember what happened, her memory betrays her. Her first reaction is to search for her phone. To her horror, she finds missed calls and voicemails from her ex-husband. Instantly she feels she did something awful last night which she will never remember.
Rachel moves on after that incident until she discovers that her Jess, real name Megan, is missing. What alarms her most was her presence in Whittany on the night of Megan’s disappearance. To top it, she remembers nothing from that night. Should she tell the police the truth or hide it? Or did she do something to Megan?
My thoughts on Audiobook
The audiobook is by Penguin Random House Audio. Three women (one each for Rachel, Ana, and Megan) read the novel. All three were good making this novel pleasurable to listen to.
My thoughts on the novel
Overall I enjoyed this novel. Apart from Rachel and Megan, we have Scot (Megan’s Husband), Tom (Rachel’s ex-husband), Ana (Tom’s present wife), Kamal (the psychiatrist). Every character has a dark side which makes the mystery more surreptitious.
The intricacies in the narrative unravel slowly with each chapter. These twists keep me intrigued with the questions, “What happened with Megan? Is Rachel involved? Has she died? If yes, then who killed her?”. My predictions and queries changed with every incident. And my guesses became confident near the second last chapter in the audiobook. It would have been great if the suspense could hold till the last chapter.
I haven’t watched the movie and super grateful for that. Else, I would have lost a great read.
I will recommend this book to all my friends who like crime and mystery novels.
Have you read this novel? Share your views in the comments below. You can find reviews of other books I have read here.