Today I started (and finished) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. The book is the breakout novel for Hawkins, and I think it’s an admirable piece for her first commercial success. As you might guess by the time-frame in which I read it, The Girl on the Train is a fast-paced thriller that doesn’t ask too much from the reader, other than to pay attention to detail and enjoy the ride.
The Girl on the Train was first published a little over a year ago, in January 2015, and spent quite some time on The New York Times bestseller list. Because I apparently live under a boulder, I heard about it two days ago. I asked around, found a copy to borrow, and got to work. I read the first few pages last night, got a little freaked out, and thought better of it. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a scary book – all the same, it wasn’t something I felt like reading at night when everything was quiet, save for the occasional creaky house noise. This morning’s sunshine helped temper things a bit, and I had the rare luxury of a completely open morning in which to devour the text.
It wouldn’t be fair to discuss the plot at all, lest I spoil anyone’s fun. Instead, I’ll simply state that the book literally revolves around one girl’s daily ride on the train, the people she sees from her limited vantage point, and the underlying complexities of all their lives. The events that transpire are hair-raising, shocking, and often unpredictable. Three women narrate the story from a first-person perspective, and each of their narratives push the story along, shedding light on the terrible crime at the crux of the tale.
As I read, I thought, ” This would make a great movie!” Well, that’s being taken care of by Dreamworks, thank you very much, and will star Emily Blunt as the title character. And yes, the main character, Rachel, really is a train-wreck (sorry), but her determination to get to the bottom of what she has seen from the train is admirable, and though she is truly a bit hard to like, she at least gets the sympathy vote from the reader.
Have you read The Girl on the Train? (Did you blitz through it in a morning, like I did?) Did you solve the mystery before the entire plot was revealed?