The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins /// Adult Fiction -Thriller
I don’t even know where to start with this one. A lot of people loved it and I know people who loved it, I was not one of those people. I went into it wanting to love it, I loved Gone Girl after all and this was heralded as the next Gone Girl.
That should have been my first clue.
The story centers around 3 female narrators Rachel, Megan, and Anna. It begins with Rachel riding the train everyday and seeing “Jess and Jason,” her ideal perfect couple. Everyday as she rides passed their home she imagines what their perfect lives must be like. Then one day she see something in the split second she rides by that stays with her. When she discovers “Jess,” actually Megan, has gone missing she reports to the police what she saw and becomes entangled in the police investigation. Our third narrator, Anna, lives down the street from Megan and is now the wife of Rachel’s ex-husband. Their points of view all center around the before and after of Megan going missing. This structure helps to keep the reader engaged and constantly guessing as to who did the crime as new clues are revealed out of order and context.
I can see why people described it as the next Gone Girl or the Silent Wife, loved the former hated the latter. Maybe I went into it with too high of expectations, actually I know I did. Every twist I just thought of how it lacked in comparison to other mystery novels I love. The psychological thriller aspect was missing for me as I read the characters as very one dimensional. I can usually handle annoying and ‘hot mess” characters as long as they are still interesting. These characters struck me as one dimensional stereotypes. They almost fell into their roles and never progressed or developed in any meaningful way. There was the alcoholic, the free spirit, the wasp, and that never changed. They never deviated or progressed into more in my opinion, which I think would have been more interesting.
As much as I disliked this book, I had to finish it, which says a lot about Hawkins story telling ability. I skimmed the majority of the book because of the characters but the plot and mystery is what kept me going and made me at least want to see how it ended. If you’re looking for an easy summer mystery this works in a lot of ways. I guess I just went in expecting more.
“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.”
“I can’t do this, I can’t just be a wife. I don’t understand how anyone does it—there is literally nothing to do but wait. Wait for a man to come home and love you. Either that or look around for something to distract you.”
Will I Reread? No, but that’s not saying much because I hardly ever reread mysteries in fear of ruining the book for me.
So I’m curious to hear what other people thought because I know I was in the minority of people who did not enjoy it. Did you like it? or like me, did you think it didn’t live up to the hype?