The Girl on the Train (Book Review)

"There's nothing so painful, so corrosive, as suspicion" - The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
I had wanted to read Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train for quite some time but I was either too strapped for cash at university to buy the book or snowed under with compulsory reading that in the past months I have just never found time. But now that it is summer and I have a bit more time and a bit more money (thanks to getting a summer job) I was finally able to sit down and become absorbed in this thrilling and exciting book.


Similar to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl which saw massive success both off the shelves and on the big screen, The Girl on the Train follows Rachel's dreary and quite frankly tragic life as she tries to keep up the image of having a job in London and being emotionally stable - of which she is neither. Into this Hawkins entwines Megan and Anna, the idolised stranger seen from Rachel's carriage and the insecure wife of Rachel's ex partner. With the narrative split between the three unreliable women the story takes sharp twists and turns that are hard to expect and jaw dropping to read.

When Megan goes missing, Rachel thinks she holds the key as to why she's vanished but her drink and obsessive nature make her an unreliable witness to the police and she is forced to watch from the sidelines as she so desperately tries to get involved in what she believes is a clear case. As thrilling and exciting as the novel is, the reader can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of sympathy for Rachel. Despite being perceived as a stalker ex who drinks to excess and can't hold down a job, Hawkins allows the reader the really delve into Rachel's past and present; consequently making us yearn for her to have a better future.

The novel had been so hyped up (unsurprisingly with the film version being released on October of this year) that I was rather worried to read it. I hate it when books don't quite match expectations and the feeling of being disappointed with a book after investing so much time into reading it has to be one of the worst. However, the narrative kept me on my toes, second guessing every character, witness and piece of evidence as it twisted in ways you wouldn't think possible. Although I must admit, I had somewhat predicted the culprit all along, yet even so it still came as a shock as to how it was all resolved!

This is definitely a book worth reading, it's not too long or difficult; perhaps the most confusing thing is the change in points of view which is impressive as the narrative remains clear and concise despite the dramatic and chilling twists. Whilst the Independent says:

"Super set-up slightly let down by a less convincing climax" - Doug Johnstone

I couldn't disagree more, there is not one ounce of disappointment in the climax of this book, nor is it in any way less convincing. Nevertheless it certainly has a "super set-up" and I really would recommend giving Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train a read.