The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

 

If you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn’s twisted, artful, and suspenseful storytelling, I’d recommend checking out The Girl on the Train.

Have you ever gazed through the window on a train and wondered what the people living in those houses you pass are doing with their lives? Perhaps you’ve conjured up your own theories, mentally orchestrating their daily occurrences all while longing to obtain the security you’ve imagined they possess?

Rachel’s life has become entirely engulfed by these sorts of daydreams, zeroing in on one couple in particular — a couple she spots daily out on their terrace during her train ride into work. Rachel sees them as beautiful and happy; peaceful and together. All that she is not.

As Rachel’s once happy life devolves into a nightmare of alcoholism and loneliness, she finds solace in these quiet minutes on the train. But when her path crosses with the “perfect” people of her daydreams, Rachel gets a chilling dose of reality…

All is not always as it seems, and everyone is harboring a secret.

While this book offers a mysterious, edgy chain of events sure to keep you guessing, you’re not likely to build a bond with its characters. Each of them are flawed and contribute to a largely heavyhearted plot. But it doesn’t seem we’re meant to fall in love with this cast, and I don’t believe this will hinder your connection to the story.

This author’s writing is polished, her ideas are well-constructed, and she displays powerful themes that do not need the aid of repetition to be recognized or appreciated. The story is told in first person, and alternates between the candid and often morbid perspectives of three women whose lives eventually interlink.

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