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…
Publisher – Doubleday
Date Published – 15th January 2015
Pages – 320 pages
Format – Hardback (also available on kindle and audible)
Category – Adult Fiction / Thriller
I bought this book in both hardback and also on audiobook through Audible
** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**
I listened to this fab adult thriller on audiobook even though I do own a hardback copy on my ever growing TBR shelf. I had heard good things about this book and had initially been put off a little by all the hype surrounding it in fear of being let down. I had also heard great things about the audio book so I was excited to spend my monthly audible credit on it.
I have to say I was not disappointed. This book was full of twists and turns as the story unravelled and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Girl On The Train tells the story from three different perspectives and recollections, Rachel, Megan and Anna and is told by date and time of day.
Rachel, divorced from her husband, and who finds solace in alcohol, has lost her job and has regular black outs due to the drinking. She regularly takes the train into London and like clockwork the train stops at the usual tracking signal every day right next to a row of houses where Rachel gets a glimpse into other people’s lives and imagines how their lives are. Lives that she feels are far more perfect than her own. She even makes up names for the people she watches in the seconds that the train has stopped. Then one day she sees something that makes her curious and angry. Something she can’t quite believe. Then Megan disappears. Rachel’s obsession and longing for her ex husband Tom, who now lives in their old house with his new wife Anna and new baby, leads her to be in Whitney the day of Megan’s disappearance after a drinking session. Rachel blacks out and can’t remember what happened that night, but is determined to piece everything together and find out what happened to Megan.
The story moves on in quite a quick pace and I was often left craving another chapter even way past my bed time on a school night!
This book is very much a reminder that you never really know what goes on behind closed doors or what people may hide from you and that thought alone is quite unnerving and really makes you think.
What I loved about this book was the fact that I found myself really rooting for Rachel as she was discovering more and more information filling in the blanks of her black out on the night Megan disappears. As a reader you really feel as if you are part of that black out and discovering these things both good and bad the same time that Rachel does. Rachel’s need to find answers, her longing for her old life back, her husband whom she still cares for and the life she used to have do make you really feel for Rachel as a character and want her to move on with her life so much.
Hawkins has made her characters so realistic, flawed and believable that whilst you don’t want to like these characters you do sympathise with their situations.
I was not a huge fan of Anna to begin with, but that is, I think, exactly how she is written to be, but I think I warmed to her as I went along. I started to understand her and her reasoning’s and the way she felt or the actions she takes.
I think for me the character I liked the most was Megan. I loved how on the surface she seemed perfect, but underneath, scratched down to the very core she had many layers and a lot of history that is unravelled as the book goes on.
I have to admit, about halfway through I did kind of guess how the ending would play out, but I put that down to my mastermind mind and great detective skills….*coughs*…well not quite …. I think I just got lucky 😉
The audio book narrators were absolutely fabulous and really created the unstable, alcoholic Rachel, the venerable yet secretive Megan and the protective, once mistress now new wife and mother Anna really believable. They brought the characters to life and I really enjoyed listening to them telling me the story and revealing its twists, turns and secrets to me.
For a debut this was a really enjoyable thriller and I simply cannot wait to see what Paula Hawkins comes up with next let alone The Girl On The Train film! I need it now!
I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!
You can buy a copy of The Girl On The Train here or why not visit your local independent book shop!
About Paul Hawkins
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.
You can find out more about Paula Hawkins on her website www.paulahawkinsbooks.com
Or follow her on twitter using @PaulaHWrites
Have you read The Girl On The Train? What did you think? Do you see anything on your daily commute? Which book should I read next? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy