Having just read both All the Light we Cannot See, which I did not like at all and The Martian, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I needed something a little more juicy and fast paced. I was chatting with my friend, Lauren and I told her I needed a good, easy read book so she suggested a book called Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins. I had honestly not heard of it but after doing a little googling, it seems I was way behind on what’s hot in books right now as this book shows up everywhere as the “it” must read “Gone Girl’esque” book. I loved Gone Girl!
I was thinking about giving audio books a go so I decided to download this book both on Kindle and Audible. I have to say it really does change the dynamic of a book when you listen to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book on audible. It also helped as I could listen to it at the gym, in my car and while getting ready for work. I also love how easily I can switch between the two as I like to read in bed.
The book is written from the perspective of three characters. Rachel, the sad state of an ex-wife. Anna the attractive, new wife with the perfect life and baby and Megan, the murdered victim.
I knew from the first line, I was going to read this book in two days or less. The main character Rachel, is a regular Monday to Friday commuter from her home to Euston Station in London and back; at least you are led to believe she is a regular commuter. Rachel is a desperate drunken disaster living with a friend who took her in when her marriage broke down. She has serious black outs and has become an invisible mess to anyone who knew her. As she takes her daily train journeys, she stares out of the window towards the houses on the street where she used to live. She becomes fixated with who she believes are the idyllic couple, Jess and Jason – made up names. She watches them in the garden, behind their glass doors and imagines their unflawed life.
Anna is “perfect”. After having a sordid affair with Tom, Rachel’s husband, she soon after became his wife. Anna believes that Rachel is obsessed and manically jealous of her new life and will do anything in her drunken state to ruin what they have. Rachel calls the house at all hours, threatens them and demands to speak to Tom on a regular basis. She even once “broke in” to take the baby.
Megan is actually Jess, as Rachel finds out after her photo is in the paper when she goes missing. Megan’s life unfolds slowly to a tragic end after we find out about an affair with her therapist, a baby she may have killed and ultimately her death. The disappearance of Megan gives Rachel’s dull purposeless life meaning. How much meaning we soon find out.
Their stories intertwine in a way that shifts your sympathies from person to person making you ask the questions of how are they all connected, who really killed Megan and are any of these individuals worthy of your sympathies in the first place? It took me quite a while to get there and I was almost to the end of the book before I fully worked it all out, which made this book even more compelling to read as I had to stay up very late to get the answers I wanted.
This is a super fast-paced read of jealousy, betrayal, relationships and imperfect people. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, you will absolutely love this unputdownable read!
Have you read Girl on a Train? What did you think?