The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins



I saw the movie prior to reading this book, which is something I typically do not do. I thought the movie was only so-so, so I wasn't anticipating that I would enjoy the book very much. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the book, much more than the movie. I listened to the audiobook on Libby, and the narrators (especially the narrator of Rachel) did a phenomenal job. Her audio performance rivals Emily Blunt's acting portrayal.

Paula Hawkins did an extraordinary job conveying our unreliable narrator, Rachel, as she struggles with her alcoholism and her troubled memory. The timeline also alternates (which was incredibly difficult to follow on the audiobook, but is likely much more clear in text). It can be a little confusing at first, trying to decipher what exactly is going on, but Hawkins makes it pretty clear after a few chapters.
Despite Rachel's pitiful existence, pining over her ex-husband who left her for Anna and drinking herself into oblivion, she is the most enjoyable of the characters. All of the characters are rather crappy people, betraying each other and lying to each other. Rachel is the only one who grows as a person; you can sense a gradual clarity and confidence emerging with each chapter. You find yourself fighting for her by the end, when it seems no one else will.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys domestic thrillers and especially for those who like an unreliable narrator.

Audience: adult
Recommended for fans of: thriller, domestic thriller, psychological thriller, suspense, mystery, unreliable narrator
Trigger warnings: alcoholism, death, domestic abuse

Publisher's Synopsis:

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough.

Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar.

Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train…



©Penguin Audio: August 23, 2016
Edition: Audiobook

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