Sunday, May 22, 2016
"The Girl on the Train", by Paula Hawkins
The story is a first person narrative told from the point of view of Rachel, Anna and Megan. It begins with Rachel on the commute home from London, a journey in which she routinely drinks four pre-mixed gin and tonic and this is just a starter. Rachel is prone to blackout and is a pathetic drunk. The trip takes her along the backs of houses on the street where she used to live. Daydreaming about her ex-husband and his new wife Anna and obsessed with a young couple living in a neighbouring house whom she named Jess (Megan) and Jason (Scott). The train stops outside their houses every morning. When Megan’s went missing and her body is found in the woods, Rachel is desperate to get to the bottom and get answers. Under the influence, her memory and imagination become confused…….and we are into an exceptionally imagined drama…..
I won’t say much more about the plot and leave it to each to dive in spoiler-free.
Their perspectives and the timescales are juggled with great skill, cleverly plotted and perfectly paced, from the impressive beginning to its surprising final act. Once into it, it is not an easy book to put aside. We find compelling characters: Rachel is a wreck, Megan is charming and Anna is love struck blind. A large range of emotions are perfectly captured and illustrated. The writing is excellent and very cinematic. The greatest strengths are the plot and place. “The Girl on the Train” is a classic whodunit without a detective as protagonist.
This novel is captivating and an excellent read