This book for me was a reread. I first read The Girl On The Train last August after hearing it compared to Gone Girl. Now I loved Gone Girl, that book hooked me in and had me on the edge of my seat the whole novel. This lead me going into this book with high expectations, which were unfortunately not fulfilled. I was left slightly disappointed after I wasn’t immediately sucked into the storyline. It just didn’t quite do it for me in the end. Flash forward to a month ago when I saw the movie trailer for The Girl On The Train. Wow. The trailer looked intense, dark, twisted and enthralling. Everything I don’t remember the book being. So I decided to give it a second chance, six months down the track after my expectations and disappointment had settled.
The Girl In The Train starts from Rachel’s perspective. Rachel is sad and pathetic after her marriage collapsed and is coping by consuming an unhealthy amount of alcohol. She rides the train each day, to and from London for work. Each day the train stops in the same place giving her a glimpse into the life of “Jess and Jason” and their perfect life she creates in her imagination. Until the day the news informs her that “Jess” who is really Megan has gone missing. The book follows her trying to piece together what has happened to Megan, especially after witnessing something fleeting from the train.
I think my initial issue with this novel was the main character, Rachel. She is pathetic and letting herself spiral further into her depression, really only making her own situation worse. I found it difficult to connect with her or even really pity her as she was doing nothing to try and help herself, which infuriated me perhaps leading me to not invest myself in the book enough. How Emily Blunt represents this overweight, miserable character is beyond me, but that is another point completely (and it’s what Hollywood does, lets be honest).
I do have to admit, giving this book a second chance was worth it. With no expectations I was able to relax into the story and feel some of the suspense and mystery that didn’t quite grab me the first time around (even though I knew the ending). I was able to appreciate that none of the character’s Hawkins creates are who you expect, each with their dark side, each with their own story and each playing their role in the outcome of the plot. I love that the story was told from the perspective of each of the three women in the book and that slowly, slowly new pieces of the puzzle came to light chapter by chapter. I definitely enjoyed the experience more. That being said, this book will never be a favourite thriller of mine, books such as Gone Girl and After The Crash set the bar too high.
Overall I give The Girl On The Train three trains that Rachel rides back and forth from London. I do recommend this book if you are in the mood for a decent thriller, something that gets you thinking, tying to calculate the plot twists. To be honest, I’m holding out for the movie. The trailer looks amazing, creating the suspense that just didn’t peak for me in the novel. Hopefully the cinematography and acting evokes stronger response in me.