Are you looking for something to read over the break? Maybe something gut-churning, nail-biting and mind boggling? Look no further than The Girl on the Train, written by Paula Hawkins.
The premise seems simple enough; the unreliable, alcoholic protagonist Rachel takes the train to work every day and watches a perfect couple in their house outside her window as she travels past. As she does, she wonders about and envies their seemingly perfect marriage. Then one day on her way to work, Rachel sees something happening in that house that completely turns her world upside down. Later that day, she believes she is somehow involved in a murder and because of her alcoholic blackouts, she doesn’t remember how.
As she untangles her blurred past and complex connection to the ‘perfect couple’, secrets and lies are exposed. Along for the ride are Emma and Megan, two more first person narratives to add layers to the plot. The explanation may seem blasé but believe me, revealing some things about the narrative only spoils the enjoyment of you finding out yourself.
Hawkins perfectly fleshes out the three main female protagonists and readers become legitimately invested, even though you may pre-empt their fates. The non-linear narrative is confusing at first (the novel taking place between 2012 to 2013) but it doesn’t stop you in your tracks.
Repeatedly dubbed the next Gone Girl, the novel is not for the faint hearted and should not be read just before bedtime. Despite making you second guess catching public transport ever again, The Girl on the Train is as addictive as Rachel’s obsession with the murder. Once you start reading, you are afraid to put it down.
If the novel doesn’t feed your hunger for psychological thrillers, check out the novel’s newly released film adaption, with actress Emily Blunt portraying Rachel.
I hope everyone has a relaxing break and best wishes for the upcoming exams!