The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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I was drowning…under historical fiction. I surfaced to breathe, went to Costco for groceries and I found a book which was on some list (don’t remember which one) of must-read books. ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins.

The girl in question is Rachel, who gets on a commuter train every morning and evening. The train stops at a signal everyday near some suburban homes. Rachel sees a good looking couple every day on the patio of one of these houses. She calls them Jess and Jason and feels like she knows them.Their life seems perfect to her, until one day she sees something shocking and decides to go to the police and everything changes after that. Rachel is an alcoholic and she wakes up one morning after a night of excessive drinking, with bruises on her head, arms, dirt under her fingernails. But, she cannot remember what happened the night before. But she has this sense of dread that something terrible has happened. And the story goes from there….That’s all I’m going to tell.

I honestly don’t know what to make of this book. The plot is interesting, it’s a scary psycho-thriller, the pace is brisk but this book is, well, just like the place it’s set in, dark and depressing. Every character is sad and there’s something twisted and weird going on in all of their lives. There is no respite from all that sadness, no glimmer of hope, whatsoever. It makes for a very eerie plot.

But I wanted to keep reading because of Rachel. She is so unpredictable that she has a hard time deciding if what she remembers is real or a figment of her over-active imagination. And her unreliability is what throws the reader off the tracks! (see, I did a rail pun ;)). The suspense is beautifully built by the three main characters, Rachel, Megan and Anna. Rachel goes from being just a faceless person on a train watching Jason and Jess from the tracks to being intertwined with their lives forever in a very sad way.

I finished this book in three days. I couldn’t put it down but it made me uncomfortable and moody. I’m so sure this book will be made into a movie. When it does, remember I said it first hahaha! Now what I need after all this intensity is some light-hearted comedy or chick-lit. Suggestions?

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