The Girl on the Train

Apparently, I’m on a books that have been made into movies kick. After finishing this novel, I can see how it was made into a so-so movie. But for fans of the genre, I’m guessing more than a few enjoyed this psyche exploring novel.

The Girl on the Train is Rachel. And every day she travels to and from work in London on the commuter rail. And every day the train makes a stop in a town called Whitney. And every day Rachel sits in a seat that stops across from a house where a man and a woman live. A daydreamer, Rachel watches this happy couple from afar and imagines their perfect life. A life Rachel wishes she had, sipping from a can of gin & tonic. But then the woman, Megan, disappears. And Rachel is positive she saw something from the train, something sinister. Is it just a coincidence that her ex-husband and his new wife live four doors down from the disappeared woman? Maybe.

Told in first person, The Girl on the Train is a test for the reader. How and when do you decide that you can no longer trust what you’re reading? The revelations slowly but surely get released. Clouding Rachel’s words with doubt. She seems so sure, but can you be?

I seriously love novels where you can’t trust the main character. Or even the side characters as there are two more women the book follows, not just Rachel. Like Shutter Island, we slowly glean reasons why Rachel is untrustworthy. And I genuinely wasn’t able to figure out the ending before it was obvious, which I truly enjoyed as well. If I’m being super honest, based on the stream of consciousness of the characters, it should have been revealed earlier but whatever, I’m not going to gripe too hard.

Sometimes the novel treats revelations like a major point of interest. When in fact I mostly shrugged my shoulders at the filler. The obvious comparison is Gone Girl which (I only saw the movie) was much more adept at spacing out big twists. Nevertheless, The Girl on the Train is an enjoyable little beach read. I’d check it out if this is your genre.

3 out of 4 stars.

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