The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


I’m actually writing this review whilst on the train from Berlin to Cologne, I am the girl on the train!
When I first started this book, the chapters were pretty much identical and I was worried that this would be the layout for the whole book. How wrong was I?

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… 

The book starts out with our main character – Rachel – going to and from work and she tells us the different things that she notices on her journeys whilst looking out the window. She tells us of two people who she notices a lot in one of the houses that is by the tracks: Jason and Jess (who we later learn that their real names are Megan and Scott).
This book was a brilliant read. It was fast-paced and gripping. I found the character of Rachel to be very similar to the character of Claire Wilkinson from The Missing by C.L Taylor. In The Missing, Claire suffers from blackouts of long periods of time. Rachel was the same. Except her blackouts weren’t due to stress or trauma, it was due to her being an alcoholic. Rachel would drink until she couldn’t remember anything and as the book went on, this characteristic got increasingly annoying. I just wanted to yell at her to stop drinking!
“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.”
– Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train is told from three different points of view: from Rachel’s, Megan’s and Anna’s. Pay close attention to the dates of the POVs because there’s a certain timeline that you need to follow. It’s not confusing don’t worry! (However, I’m not quite sure how the film is going to be made because of the three POVs… That might get a bit confusing unless they the film is just from one POV – then the film just won’t work!)
Paula Hawkins is a tremendous writer. Her words captivated me so much that I genuinely couldn’t put this book down.
Even though the character of Rachel is very annoying at first, you learn why she acts the way she does and there is amazing character development throughout the book. The character of Anna is also irritating when you first read her chapters – she seems very stuck up – but again, towards the end of the book there is amazing character development for Anna.
AND THE ENDING! What an ending! I couldn’t believe what I was reading. There was a huge plot twist that left me in shock and there was dialogue that left me cold.
The Girl on the Train is an amazing book. Bear with the character of Rachel, don’t get too annoyed with her and put the book down because believe me, it gets better. Much, much better. For anyone who loves a good thriller or crime book, read this!

Have you read this yet? What did you think? Leave a comment below!

2 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

  1. I liked this one but didn't love it, and I got bogged down briefly in the middle, but I did like the mystery and had to know what happened. And I felt the same about Rachel- annoyed that she wouldn't stop drinking. Although I kinda felt for her as time went on. By the end I was retty much in her corner. And I'm looking forward to the movie!

  2. Yes, I agree with you. I did kind of feel sorry for her towards the end. How do you think they will make the movie work with the number of different narratives?

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