Friday, February 6, 2015

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Genre: Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

Review:  The summary of this novel leaves out something major - Rachel is a raging alcoholic and a completely unreliable narrator.  If I had had a hint about that, or known that so much of the story deals with her struggle to give up alcohol and then her inevitably quick relapse as she faces challenges, I may have liked it better.  The premise of the story is interesting, it's a well-written and gripping mystery, and the lesson about judging people based only on quick glimpses of their lives is thought-provoking.  However, all the characters were horrible people and the fact that the multiple point-of-view narrations take place at different periods of time left me feeling confused about the timeline.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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