28 January 2016

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Image from Goodreads
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

The Girl on the Train was the free book I received when I first signed up to Audible, so it should come as no surprise that I listened to it as an audio book. If you look on audible you will find mixed reviews for the story but next to no mention of the women who read it. 

Firstly the story. This story is a mystery of sorts. It tells the intertwined lives of three women who have little to do with each other. Each woman tells her own story from its own perspective and it gives a good idea how perspective can to an extent change events. 

The main character in the story is Rachel. The alcoholic ex-wife of Tom who becomes obsessed with 'Jess and Jason's a couple she has never met but whose lives she has built up in her mind to be perfection. Rachel comes across as an interesting woman who allowed the dissolution of her marriage to destroy her life, although perhaps it was the dissolution of her life which destroyed her marriage.

Secondly we have Anna. The second wife of Tom whose affair with him ended Rachel's marriage. Frankly to me she always came across as unlikeable, this may have been because we are first invited to put ourselves into Rachel's shoes. It may have been because the tone of her chapters was cold. I did warm to her as the story went on and we saw more of her own problems appear and I could understand how Rachel would have appeared to her.

Finally we have Megan, Rachel's Jess, she was my favourite of the three women and as her own story and background unfolded my heart went out to her. She is in some ways the centre of the story, as the woman who has gone missing, but I feel like the story was in many ways more about Rachel and Anna's personal development. Nonetheless without the Megan perspective I think I may have been tempted to give up long before the end. 

Overall the story wasn't too complicated, you could figure out where Megan went early on, despite red herrings. There was a twist at the end but while I didn't necessarily expect it I found it didn't surprise me. 

In terms of the narrator's I have to say I wasn't keen on any of them. The Rachel narrator was the one I leaned towards, she was the most matter of fact but also was able to distinguish different characters. The Megan narrator wasn't too bad, if a touch langorous and insipid. The Anna narrator, much like the character, really annoyed me. I found her to be whiny, having said this I've not heard anything else she has read and she could have been doing a perfect characterisation of Anna. 

No comments:

Post a Comment