The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins' debut work, The Girl on the TrainA 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. Read more ⇒

(Synopsis and image via Goodreads)

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“I am not the girl I used to be. I am no longer desirable, I’m off-putting in some way. It’s not just that I’ve put on weight, or that my face is puffy from the drinking and the lack of sleep; it’s as if people can see the damage written all over me, can see it in my face, the way I hold myself, the way I move.”  ~ Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

I have never been one to read thrillers. But I read so many great reviews about Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train I couldn’t stop myself from at least starting.

Start it I did, and I couldn’t stop! The synopsis states this is a “compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller.” A more accurate description cannot be found. From page one to the end, I turned page after page wishing I could turn them faster. Reading on a Kindle meant I was waiting for technology to respond to the slip of my finger across the screen. In fact, I stayed up to 1:30 this morning to finish!

Paula Hawkins has used an interesting format for introducing her characters–Rachel, Megan, and Anna–which at time can be confusing but only from a timeline perspective. All three women narrate the story to which we are invited to share.

Amazingly, their lives are intricately intertwined and woven as in a delicate tapestry so tightly you almost begin to think you are losing your mind along with some of the characters.

Yet Hawkins cleverly creative way of telling the story allows her to develop her characters such that as well as being a tightly knit mystery/thriller, The Girl on the Train becomes a fascinating character study into the minds of the short cast we meet. Each is a unique person with a history leading to his/her present life situation. And each of them takes me, and possibly you, on a wild ride not always on the train.

I will make one statement here to touch on the fact that so many have compared The Girl on the Train to Gone Girl. I did not like Gone Girl. In fact, I didn’t finish Gone Girl. In my mind, there is no comparison, and The Girl on the Train wins!

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Recommendation

If you are a lover of mystery, suspense, thrill-a-minute reading, The Girl on the Train is a novel you will enjoy immensely. Like a jigsaw puzzle with microscopic pieces, Paula Hawkins invites you to put the puzzle together and see if you come up with the right solution to her tale of Hitchcockian thrills and frights.

Book Details:
Publisher: TransWorld Digital

Published: January 6, 2015
Genre: Adult Fiction / Mystery-Suspense-Thriller / Book Club
Format: Kindle, 325 pages

ASIN: B00NOPQU2K
Source: Library

Want to read an excerpt? Visit Paula Hawkins’s website to do just that.

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Author Paula Hawkins
Via BBC

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.

(Bio via Goodreads)

To listen/view the BBC interview with Paula Hawkins, click here.

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