Book Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl On The Train

This had been top of the best sellers list for a while – so I became a sheep and bought it to read on holiday.  It was very popular around the pool too (thankfully not everyone reads Kindles, so you can still be nosy about what other people are choosing!!)

This is the Amazon blurb:

“Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…”

The book starts from Rachel’s point of view – now I know she’s a barely functioning alcoholic – but I still wanted to slap her – a lot!  Some of the choices she makes are inexplicable.

It also is told from 2 other female perspectives – Megan (who Rachel had christened ‘Jess’ when being a peeping Tom from the train) and Anna (who is now married to Rachel’s ex husband).  But not a single one of them was likeable.  The stories intertwine, jumping backwards and forwards in time – as is fairly popular in this genre of book.

The story is also reasonably predictable.  I guessed fairly early on in the book who the ‘baddie’ was – although not the exact details of how it would end – and just waited for that to be borne out.  Having said that, the lady next to me on her sunlounger hadn’t guessed at all and was pinning it on one of the ‘red herrings’ until quite near the end.

This has been described as being like ‘Gone Girl’ and there were some real similarities for me – mostly that I didn’t particularly like any of the characters and that it had been overhyped by the media!