Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

"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…"

I had obviously heard of The Girl on the Train, I had seen people reading it on my commute into London and I knew from Marian Keyes twitter page that she considered it to be #GripLit, but other than that, I had no idea what to expect - I had not read any articles or reviews and I had not even read the synopsis.  I just knew I wanted to read it.

The Girl on the Train is certainly gripping.  The book is told from three different perspectives - Rachel, Anna and Megan.  Megan's perspective is slightly behind in terms of the timeframe at the outset but eventually catches up; you will need to pay attention to a degree.  Each time the perspective shifted, I found myself longing to go back to know what else that character had to share with me whilst simultaneously longing to stay with the current characters version of events.  As a reader, you also have to try and decipher who you can trust and whether you believe what you are reading as all three of the main characters have traits that cause them to be unreliable at best.  

The book does not contain the sort of characters that you will necessarily like or feel a connection with but it is the curiosity and intrigue that will keep you hooked to this particular tale.  It is quite an achievement to grip a reader to a book in which the reader does not actually like any of the characters (although the characters are well portrayed).  However, this is the sort of book that you will find yourself saying 'I'll just read one more chapter' until suddenly you find yourself at the end! 

I have to admit that I was lulled in and I did not guess the ending, but had I taken the time to think it through along with the 'it is the last person you would expect' philosophy then perhaps I would have done.

Not as gripping as I thought given the hype but I did enjoy the ride.

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