22 Sept 2016

book: the girl on the train by paula hawkins

I'm a big fan of psychological thrillers and when I saw this one in Waterstones, I knew I had to give it a shot. The premise is as follows (from Amazon):

"Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. 

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. 

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. 

 Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…" 

Credit: Amazon.co.uk
The novel is told from the perspective of three women: Rachel, Megan and Anna. Anna is the woman who Rachel's ex-husband, Tom, has replaced her with and Megan is someone who lives on the same road that Rachel and Tom used to live on. Anna and Tom still live in said house on the aforementioned street. These houses back onto a railway line which Rachel takes into London every day.

From the beginning, I found this novel fascinating. Paula Hawkins does a good job of drip feeding you with information about each of the characters, with each revelation being more shocking than the last. How she managed to make each character likeable and then dislikable and then back to likeable, etc is something I can't get my head around.

As more and more of the events unfold, I found myself trying to second guess each of the narrators and I managed to predict the ending about 80% of the way in (something I'm very pleased about as I don't think it was actually that predictable! Maybe I've been reading too many psychological thrillers over these last few years).

If you're a fan of Gillian Flynn and Emma Donoghue, this book is definitely right up your street. I give it 9/10 because it is the first fictional book in a while where I've managed to finish it within a week (and during exam time as well).


  1. I actually just started this and I'm hoping to be finished with it before the movie is out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I have a feeling I'm going to like it as well.

  2. I read this book earlier this year, and I really enjoyed it! I don't usually read psychological thriller books, but this one seemed really interesting and has totally turned me onto the genre. I'm always looking for new ones!