The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Genre: Crime, Adult fiction
I was seriously surprised by how much I enjoyed this! As someone who doesn’t often explore the crime/thriller genre, I was unsure whether it would claim and maintain my interest (and indeed it did!) In all honesty, the main reason I finally got around to reading it was because it was advertised when I went to see Me Before You and the trailer had me hooked. The story is essentially about discovering what happened to Megan, who goes missing at the beginning of the book. The truth is slowly unwoven and revealed through the course of the novel. A very engaging read that I would recommend – hands down.
This was a really gripping, entertaining story to follow. I was constantly speculating and trying to get a lead on what may have happened but every time, something would happen and I’d be back to square 1. And I loved that. I loved the guessing game and I think Hawkins played it well. The majority of the book is observed through the eyes of Rachel, who is an unemployed, divorced alcoholic. As a very unstable character, looking at the crime from her perspective was interesting but frequently frustrating. She consistently blacked out for hours at a time and it is precisely for that reason that there is a story to tell. The book was sometimes slow-going because of this. I also found that it made it difficult for me to empathise with her and there was a sincere lack of connection for me. That said, as a thriller, I think the general focus is on the mystery so the absence of well fleshed out characters is an aspect that I’m willing to accept because the plot was the true driving force.
The fragmented chronology was initially quite confusing but, by the end of the novel, I found that it truly added to the experience. Had the story been written in order without additional narratives, I think the mystery would have felt far less intense. Occasionally it can be quite nice to have a challenge, you know?
I have noted that a lot of people were disappointed with the ending and I can certainly see where they seem to be coming from. With a book with several interwoven plots, the resolution did fall flat. Nevertheless, I was still really engaged in the story hence the four star rating. I read it in a matter of days and it was just one of the books that popped up at the right time. I’d definitely advise anyone to give it a go; it shouldn’t take you long and you get to watch the film straight after too as a little bonus!
Happy Reading Bookworms!