Deluded Review – The Girl on the Train
About the Book The Girl on the Train
- Written by Paula Hawkins
- 336 pages
- Published January 1st 2014
From Goodreads: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved.
I had one day to basically read most of “The Girl on the Train,” as it was due back to the library the next day. It was definitely an easy task to accomplish, as this book was hard to put down. I enjoyed the author’s voice and storytelling, as it was easy to follow and kind of reminded me of my own writing style.
All of the characters were compelling and well developed. I felt as though I could identify with them and their struggles, which is always a good sign. While I’ve never killed a baby, I’ve often felt just like running away and escaping reality like Megan. While I’ve never had a husband cheat on me, I’ve been depressed and poignantly reflective like Rachel. That helped me to better understand what they were going through.
The plot slowly builds and captivates as the story unfolds. Rachel is divorced from Tom, who cheated on her with Anna, whom he married. She’s still obsessed and depressed, and watches their house everyday as she takes the train to London. She also watches a nearby neighbor couple, whose lives she imagines are perfect and serene.
Unfortunately, this turns out not to be the case, as Megan eventually goes missing. Rachel happened to be around on the night she went missing but was drunk and remembers nothing. Regardless, she inserts herself into the investigation in an attempt to feel useful about something in her life. Slowly, more details return to her clouded mind as she mingles with Scott, Tom, Anna, and others.
The only thing that really got me was the cliched, Lifetime original movie ending. Seriously? The whole book was leading up to this great climax, and that was the result? For a book that was so inventive and formative, this ending felt stale and overused. In the end, it turned out that Tom was not only cheating on his new wife with Megan, but also killed her. Of course, both Rachel and Anna independently realize this at the exact same moment and have a convenient meeting at Anna’s house just in time for Tom to get home.
Tom suddenly became a sadistic psychopath because the plot required it and began beating on Rachel. For some reason, he expects Anna to just stand by passively with their baby and watch, and… she does? Obviously, she never liked Rachel, and she has her baby to think about, but that seems a bit much, especially since he just revealed he is a murderer. Tom’s transformation from douchebag ex-husband to crazed abuser and killer seemed quite far-fetched. I know they both say how good at lying he is… but it seems unlikely he could hide such a brutal nature for so long from three different women.
To top it all off, Rachel is finally able to run away and eventually stabs him in the throat with a corkscrew. Anna finally grows a pair and comes out and stabs him as well. This part felt so much like a Lifetime movie. Yay female empowerment! Yay getting revenge on the male scum! Down with the patriarchy! The chauvinist pig is dead! In fact, I can even see the cheesy title and tagline now: “A Deadly Divorce: Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater.” Anyway, to sum up, when the actual murderer was revealed, it didn’t seem realistic since his character traits never pointed to him being what he really was. He basically became the murderer because it was time to reveal the murderer.
After all that ranting though, don’t get me wrong. I still liked the book, and I would definitely read more from this author!