Why am I reading (and possibly closing out my year with) The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins? Well firstly because I needed a book that would guarantee to heal the trauma I experienced from attempting to read The heart is a lonely hunter, and secondly because I could no longer resist staring at, and not just reading the very first hardcover book to make my collection!
It’s been a week since I started reading The girl on the train and I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. From the moment I scooped this gem up at the Exclusive Books sale for R160 (from R400) I can certainly say the accountant in me was hella chuffed.
If you know me well enough you know how much I die for psycho thriller reads! When I read that The girl on the train was similar to Gone Girl, I simply couldn’t resist giving the book a chance and well… so far I must say, its pretty close!
The book is set and written in the UK. The main character, Rachel, is a millennial alcoholic divorcee whose picture perfect future was swept right under her and she is now forced to live through her ex husband moving on with a new woman that he decided to marry, have a child with (something that a barren Rachel couldn’t accomplish) and live with in a house that Rachel picked out and bought for the both of them to start their future.
At this point in the book, Rachel is basically hitting rock bottom. Her alcoholism and unemployment are at an all time high and she finds herself behaving in unexplainable ways. For reasons elaborated in the book, Rachel resorts to stalking her ex in order to cope and deal with her trauma and throughout this almost ritualistic activity, she picks up on another couple, not staying too far from her ex husband to pay interest to as well. One day, Rachel gets so intoxicated that she blacks out and the next thing she knows, she’s naked in bed with a gash on her head. the next day, the police show up at her doorstep looking for answers relating to her activities the previous night that could possibly be linked to a kidnapping (of her ex husband’s daughter) and the disappearance of the woman she stalked from time to time.
I read Gone Girl 2 years ago, although the storyline is there in my mind it is quite fuzzy. So far I can definitely see why people would compare this book to it however, something in my gut tells me that The girl on the train is hands down more well written than Gone Girl. Paula Hawkins really knows how to keep a reader in suspense and desperate to turn the pages of her story. Another thing I seem to love now which this book shares with Americanah, is that each chapter is the story of a different character, I think it’s an amazing way to tell and showcase a complex story from a specific character’s perspective while building up to a specific point when all these lives will collide and make sense as one.
All in all, so far, so amazing! I’m really enjoying The girl on the train and would certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys psycho thrillers, suspense and just reading about messy human beings so you can live vicariously through them- or validate your own bad decisions!
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