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…
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was published by Doubleday (Transworld) on 15 January 2015.
There has been an astonishing buzz about this book on social media over the last few months, it's probably one of the most anticipated and talked about novels in recent years. I'm delighted to be the host on the blog tour today.
There are countless reviews of The Girl on the Train out there already, be sure to check out the other bloggers who are taking part in the tour to read their thoughts too.
I'm not going to go over the synopsis and plot of this novel, the blurb is at the top of this post, it's tempting and intriguing. The whole concept of the story is original and quite quirky.
The dark psychological thriller is certainly the genre of the moment, and I've discovered some outstanding novels from some excellent authors over the last year. I love this genre, I love the unexpected, the flawed characters and the thrills.
It took me a long time to read The Girl on the Train, and to be honest, at about the half-way point I was beginning to wonder if I'd missed something. Whilst I was entranced by the characters, as despicable as they are, I wasn't getting that 'thrill factor' that I'd found in other novels quite recently. I began to wonder if this one had been hyped too much, had my expectations been too high? The only thing that I could do was to completely dismiss any preconceptions of what I thought this book was, and realign my brain a little. So, for the second half of the novel, I approached it with a different view, and you know what? It worked. I soon become caught up in a story that centred on relationships, how they work, how they fail and how that can impact on a life.
Rachel, the lead character is not particularly likeable. She's so damaged that it can be really difficult to understand her thought processes and her actions, but as the reader learns more and more, her true character emerges. She's been hidden, repressed by her experiences and she believes that she is worthless and unlovable. Rachel's obsession with the house that she watches from the train window appears at first to be nothing more than a fantasy that she has created to pass the time during her journey, when the reader discovers the truth, the story takes on another dimension.
The Girl on the Train is a fascinating story, and although the thriller element didn't quite work for me (I'd worked out who it was well before the end), I was impressed by the way the characters are drawn and develop. This is most certainly a female-driven story, the male characters, whilst very important, do not have the same impact as the three main females.
The writing is excellent, the depiction of addiction is frighteningly accurate, and pretty raw at times. For me, the beauty of this story is the detail of the relationships and how so many people can be affected by the actions of just one or two people. It's a clever novel, the author is very talented.
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.
For more information about the author, visit her website www.paulahawkinsbooks.com
Visit her Facebook page
Follow her on Twitter @PaulaHWrites