The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

As you know, audio-books need to keep me on the edge of my (driver's) seat, in order to hold my attention and keep me awake.  This book kept me guessing until the very end.  There was suspense, intrigue, violence, drunkenness, deception, and some resolution.

The "girl on the train" is a woman named Rachel who looks out of her commuter train window everyday, and catches a glimpse at a couple's house and life. She creates a world for these people - Jess and Jason, as she calls them - in her own head. Drinking from her paper bag on the morning train, she is able to escape what is left of her life, and find solace in creating one for these strangers.

One day, Rachel sees something out of the ordinary out of the train window.  Or does she?  She can't be sure, since she is blind drunk and generally unreliable. When "Jess" goes missing, Rachel becomes heavily involved in the real story of Jess and Jason's lives, telling lie after lie to get closer to the truth.
Rachel is just one of the narrators in this story; other women involved get a chance to tell their sides of the story as well.  As a reader, I was often frustrated with Rachel.  She can't remember bits and pieces of events that could help her find the missing woman, or help her seem more trustworthy to the police.  She would sober up long enough to figure out something, to clear her head, but then she would head to the off-licence and lose those fragments again.  I found myself yelling at the audio-book "Don't do it Rach.  Jess Megan needs your help." Then, Rachel's ex-husband's new wife and Megan, the missing woman, get a chance at narrator.  Their perspectives on events leading up to and surrounding Megan's disappearance aren't that reliable either.

This book was named "Gone Girl ...on a Train" by many critics who drew parallels between the two stories.  I think that the unreliable narrator and the missing woman are comparable in the two novels, along with the nature of the theme. Which missing woman/ suspense/ whodunnit/ psychological thriller did you like best?  Are readers being over-saturated with these sort of books like teen girls were with vampire books a few years back?

♥ Meg xoxo

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