Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This is a psychological thriller by Paula Hawkins.

Mine is an eBook copy. I have seen this title quite a few times on social media. The title sounds interesting enough. Makes me curious who's the girl on the train. What is she up to? Is this like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins book review

This is a story of a girl who rides the train to and from work. She has a drinking problem. She is often drunk and because of this her husband left her for another woman and she lost her job. The train track is near a residential area and when it passes by the houses, Rachel would often observe the residents in these houses. She was so fascinated by these other lives that she even named them and created a story for them. Then, one of those characters went missing. Rachel was in the neighborhood when Megan was missing. If only she could remember what happened that night? If only she was not dead drunk?

At first, I don't know where the story is going. I wondered if there is any sense in reading the book as it just kept talking about the girl on a train riding to and from work and creating her own version of the lives of the people she sees on the houses near the tracks. I think it took quite a while for the story to come into full circle. I quite liked it. The fact that I was not able to figure out right away what the story really is, is a good thing. The writer did a good job in making the story less obvious and unpredictable. This is actually a fine read except for the first few parts where it seemed it had nowhere to go.

I give the book three and a half stars because I was almost about to put it down. As I said, the first few parts were not so engaging. Thanks to my self-imposed rule of always finishing a book no matter how boring it would go and no matter how long it would take to finish. I owe it to respect the effort of the writer for coming up with the story and the fact that it got printed means there is some merit to it, even if I may not be able to see it. Yey, I finished the book. I agree with one of the reviews that it is like Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn though I like Gone Girl better than this one.

I am just relieved to know that finally, Rachel has come out of her drunken stupor and realized what a fool she has been. The book is realistic. A lot of women are blinded by love and devotion to their husbands and because of guilt, they often feel that they are the reason why the marriage or relationship did not work, only to find out that the husband was the culprit all along. As they say, men are by nature polygamous and women should take note of this. This is a universal truth though there are few who are real exceptions to this.

I hated Rachel for being so helpless and stupid in a way. Her being always drunk and subject to the manipulations of the people around her. I feel sorry for her that she did not have anyone to help her. At least, in the end, with her need to be able to remember that critical lost memories for her own sake, her befuddled brain finally cooperates and worked as how it should. She was eventually able to piece together snippets of the event and helped in the resolution of the loss and death of Megan.

I think I will have to read the other works of Paula Hawkins. Though, I have enjoyed this book, there is the matter about how it started in the earlier pages which almost made me want to stop. I think that is what I didn't like about it. But all in all, this is a satisfying read. I was not actually able to figure out who the real killer is until it was too obvious. That is points for Paula Hawkins. In a way, the novel is unexpected and I mean it in a good way.