Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rebecca Reads: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins

I wanted to start out my October #rebeccareads post on a high note... this is, after all the perfect month to read scary-murder-mystery-Hitchcock-esque books.  This book fights right in!  I don't know what the official genre is, but I'm mentally filing The Girl on the Train into the 'psychological thriller' category.  I picked it up earlier this year and after being on my tbr list for about three or four months straight, I've finished it.

To be honest, I avoided reading it. Honestly, it was the kind of book that would keep me up all night until I finish it.  And I can't do that ... cause life and work and kids and husband.  So, I kept it on my night stand for a while.  It was on my mind, so I sat down to read it at the end of last week (I guess hurricane, rainy weather is good for something).

So, this story follows the main character, Rachel, as she travels to and from work on the train.  She passes by one particular town home, where she has a view of the back of the house and porch, while the train is stopped for a bit.  When you start reading, it's immediately apparent that Rachel has either suffered or is suffering from a mental break down.  Her ex-husband and his new wife and baby daughter live a couple doors down from the aforementioned townhouse so, right away, she seems like a total creeper.  As you delve deeper into her story, you learn that she's half stalking her ex-husband and she's an alcohol.

She makes for the most unreliable narrator and, I have to say, I really enjoy that type of narrative. It's a lot of fun to put the pieces together as a reader.  To add to that, the other characters are not reliable as well.

One morning, as Rachel's train is stopped behind the townhouse that she's obsessed with, she sees the wife, whom she's named "Jess."  The wife is married to a man, whom Rachel has named "Jason." She imagines them as the perfect couple who are incredibly happy.  However, one that one morning Rachel sees "Jess" in the backyard ... with a different man.  Being the ex-wife of a cheater, she takes this fleeting second to heart and constructs an alternate reality in her head about the perfect couple. I don't want to give anything else away, because this really is the type of book that is best read with minimal information.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, similar to Gone Girl, then you would love this. The character development has nothing on Gillian Flynn's style, but it was very enjoyable.  It is slightly depressing, but I still really liked it.

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