Greetings, book nerds! Today’s review is of a book dubbed “the next Gone Girl” by New York Times….and here’s why I disagree.
“The Girl on the Train” is a first person narrative from the perspective of three women, Rachel, Anna and Megan. Rachel is our ‘main character.’ It is a murder-mystery, with all the intrigue and interest of a bowl of cereal. That’s right people, I didn’t like it.
We follow Rachel, a sad, desperate, alcoholic woman, as she investigates a murder of a husband and wife she doesn’t know. She instead knows them as their alter-egos, and how she’s named them when she rides past their house on the morning train everyday. Her delusions are made perfectly clear as she describes in detail how she imagines their wonderful perfect life while hers falls to pieces. The woman that she watches every morning is Megan Hapwell, who goes missing a few days later.
Obsessed with solving the murder, and realizing that the victim was tied up with her ex-husband and his new family, Rachel goes on a sort of blurry mission to figure out what happens.
I was surprised when this book got as much attention as it did. It’s now being made into a movie. And I’m a sucker for those books your mom reads on the beach during your family vacation. I love mom-literature. And this fits that category. But this particular book didn’t catch my fancy.
The narrative is jarring, confusing, and the main character isn’t even likeable. You get as annoyed with Rachel as the people around her do, and you’re supposed to be on her side! The story is quite predictable, and there’s a very limited cast of characters. Even the character development lacks a payoff. It just wasn’t satisfying. I like my books to end with a relaxed sigh, and this one sort of ended with a “…is that it?”
Not my cup of tea.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Length: 336 pages
Favorite Quote: “I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.”
Best time and place to read it: On a train, drinking wine.
If you liked this check out: anything by Gillian Flynn