Review Blog

Nov 08 2015

The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins

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Doubleday, 2015. ISBN 9780857522320
(Age: young adult) Crime fiction, Alcoholism, Marital relationships. After reading some fabulous reviews I bought this at Dymocks last week and spent the rest of the week reading. It certainly grabbed me and I wanted to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of Rachel's life as she stumbled from one failed attempt at getting herself together after another. One night, drunk again, she finds herself near her ex husband's house. She sees something but is uncertain as to what it is and struggles to remember the next day, waking bruised and bleeding. But it is the same night that their neighbour Megan, disappears, and Rachel is drawn into the investigation. She is sure she knows something, but lies to get the attention of the missing woman's husband and becomes an intrusion in the police investigation.
She has seen this couple on the train every morning as she goes to work. Fired for being drunk some months before, she still travels into the city but when the train stops for a signal change she watches the house, a few doors from her old house, and its occupants, Megan and Scott, creating a romantic life for them. But now Megan has gone, Rachel still haunts her old house much to the anger of her replacement, and despite attempts by her ex husband and the police to keep her at bay she persists, trying to remember what she has forgotten.
The book is told through three women's voices, Rachel, Megan and Anna, the new wife, in varying chronological order, giving the reader the background while the story progresses. I was hooked as many people have been, and I enjoyed the character of Rachel, trying to overcome her alcoholism, trying to juggle aspects of her splintered life.
This is a little potboiler, it has many twists and turns, it certainly keeps you hooked, and the last chapter is very scary: it is enjoyable and will make an equally enjoyable but forgettable film. Borrow it from your library.
Fran Knight

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