The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Book Review

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Book Review

When it comes to books, we’re trained to automatically like the protagonist, but with Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, things are a tad different. We meet the protagonist Rachel in the lowest part of her life.

She’s an alcoholic divorcee who entertains herself by looking into people’s houses, especially that of Megan and Scott since the train always stops there.

Incidentally, the couple’s house is right next to Rachel’s ex-husband; Tom, who has a family with Anna. One day, Rachel notices that Megan’s missing and so she becomes the modern-day Nancy Drew.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is that we have an unreliable narrator on our hands, which means that we can’t easily trust what she says. This is why Hawkins has enriched her story by adding different narrators to give us different perspectives on the same story.

We collect different pieces of the same puzzle from three different narrators; Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Hawkins cleverly weaves the storyline to keep you on the edge of your seat, especially through Rachel who often blacks out and forgets whole events due to her drinking.

This book portrays how destructive alcoholism can be while illustrating how gender roles can deteriorate one’s mental health. Even though Rachel is a somewhat unlikable character, she’s still relatable to all of us.

She’s facing this massive problem by herself and doesn’t really know what to do, so she indulges in self-destructive acts while focusing on trivial matters as she ignores her alcoholism.

Another great aspect of this book is that it has several sweet spots. One of them is when the story reaches a climax and the other is the intersection point, in which Rachel, Megan, and Anna’s lives intersect. 

All in all, this book is definitely worth your time, if you’re into a psychological thriller piece.

Book Details

Title: The Girl on the Train
Format: Paperback
Author: Paula Hawkins
Language : English
Publisher : Riverhead Books
ISBN: 978-0735219755

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Updated 3 years ago