The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


source: personal copy
title: The Girl on the Train
author: Paula Hawkins (twitter)
pages: 323
genre: mystery/psychological thriller
published: 2015
first line: There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.
rated: 1blustar1blustar1blustar1blustar
4 out of 5 stars

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

my thoughts:
Today is the perfect day to sit at my computer and write up a post about my latest read. The snow is falling outside as Blizzard 2017 is in effect. I hope those in its path are staying safe and warm. Having a snow day, I’m home with my family, the crock-pot is on and there’s something to be said about staying cozy inside in your pajamas during the snow fall.

Onto my review….
Alternately narrated by three characters, Rachel, Megan and Anna, The Girl on the Train had me wondering from page one. Rachel is a thirty something alcoholic divorcee who is “the girl on the train”. Having lost her job a few months ago because of her drinking problem, she continues to take the train daily pretending she is going to work so that her roommate does not find out. She is somewhat obsessed with her ex-husband Tom who left her for another woman, Anna.

I close my eyes and let the darkness grow and spread until it morphs from a feeling of sadness into something worse: a memory, a flashback. I didn’t just ask him to call me back. I remember now, I was crying. I told him that I still loved him, that I always would.
p. 13, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Megan is an unhappily married housewife who suffered a traumatic event during her youth when her brother died and now as an adult has several affairs. These two women are their own worst enemies.
Anna is now married to Tom and they have a baby together. She detests Rachel who will only not stop calling and bothering Tom, but is also unstable and has been known to show up at the couple’s house.

I did not like any of the characters in this novel. That being said, I was hooked from page one as the story-line pulled me right in. Rachel is a great unreliable narrator, sometimes I felt bad for her, but other times she was just irritating. She is still in love with her ex-husband Tom and her drinking is out of control. I liked that as the story flowed, other characters tell you some truths about Rachel.

Megan is another one that had me shaking my head, one scene in particular concerning her past is very disturbing. The story pretty much centers around Rachel having seen Megan and her husband Scott while passing by their house on the train. Rachel makes up names for what she thinks is the perfect couple, until one day a murder occurs and she starts to somewhat obsess over it. In the midst of Rachel wanting to find out who dunnit, she is also really obsessed with Tom.
Anna and Tom are just awful. Anna who was “the other woman” is smug about stealing Rachel’s husband.

Being the other woman is a huge turn-on, there’s no point denying it; you’re the one he can’t help but betray his wife for, even though he loves her. That’s just how irresistible you are.
p.233, The Girl on the Train

Overall, a great read. It was hard to put down this book as I stood into the late hours reading trying to figure out who did what. I recommend it if you enjoy psychological thrillers and mysteries. I will be watching the film version next.

About the author:
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. Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been published in over forty languages, has been a No.1 bestseller around the world and is now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. Into the Water is her second thriller.


Disclaimer: I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was gifted to me. The photo in this post is my own and not to be removed from here.


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

  1. Great review of this book.

    I have heard a lot about this novel. The plot and characters sound so interesting. I think that I would like it.

    I also have not seen the film. I have it in the back of my head that I will get the book in before seeing the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nadia hope you enjoyed your snow day! I was supposed to travel out east but my trip got cancelled due to the weather. Oh well, another time. Anyway, glad to hear you liked this one. I didn’t like any of the characters either and I thought that was well done by the author that despite that, I still enjoyed the book. I want to see the movie too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have snow and I have 90F sunny weather. What a difference! I am so glad you enjoyed this book. I didn’t like any of the characters much either, other than feeling bad for Rachel. I did not like Anna at all. I listened to the audio version and thought it was well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Naida,

    As I write this on the evening of Friday 17th, we are reportedly due to begin experiencing the tail end of your storm, as it crosses the Atlantic, although it does sound as though it is going to skirt past the south coast where we live and hit land a little further north!

    Along with so many others, I have this one on my ‘Want To Read’ list, although goodness knows when I shall get around to reading it.

    So many others have also watched the film based on the book, although there have been some very mixed reviews, with general opinion seeming to be that you need to either read the book or watch the film, but probably not both!

    It sounds as though you really became engrossed in the story and you chose a couple of great excerpts to share. Thanks for the excellent review 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvonne. I hope the end of the storm wasn’t so bad by you. I’m done with the cold weather and I can’t wait till Spring arrives.
      I recommend The Girl on the Train and I ended up watching the film version after writing this review. The film was good, but the book was better as is usually the case.
      Enjoy your weekend!


  5. Glad to hear you enjoyed this novel. I was excited to read it when it came out, as mysteries are always great. Unfortunately, the ending didn’t quite work for me :\ hope the film manages to capture what you enjoyed about this.


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