RC’16: A Book That’s Becoming A Movie This Year

Book: The Girl On The Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
First published: 2015

I guess this could count as the thriller challenge, but like I said before, I don’t want to use the same book for multiple challenges. The Girl On The Train is being made into a film starring Emily Blunt and some other people that I can’t remember. Here‘s the IMDb link if you’re interested.

Summary: Rachel Watson is an alcoholic who’s lost her job, but she still gets on the same commuter train every morning and evening. When the train stops at a signalling box, she can look out at the house backing onto the train line where she used to live with her ex, Tom. He still lives there with his new wife and their baby. A couple of doors down are ‘Jason’ and ‘Jess’, a couple who Rachel projects her fantasies onto – really Megan and Scott. One morning Rachel sees Megan kissing another guy, and then Megan goes missing. Rachel decides to help investigate what happened to her.

“It’s a glorious evening, warm but not too close, the sun starting its lazy descent, shadows lengthening and the light just beginning to burnish the trees with gold.”

My thoughts: I didn’t particularly like many of the characters, although I warmed to Rachel over the story. I didn’t like Anna, or Tom, or Scott, or Riley. Anna seemed too one-dimensional. Also – spoilers, ish – I was actually screaming in my head at her to stop being so vindictively ridiculous and call the police at the end of the book but she didn’t, and to me, that was beyond the realm of believablity. Definitely spoilers – if your husband has just admitted to having murdering someone, and is about to do it again, even if it is to his ex, the woman you hate, you call the police. I feel like that’s just basic human decency. For obvious reasons, I disliked Tom, and also Scott.

Kamal and Megan were my favourites – although I didn’t like how Kamal was described. We find out later that he’s Bosnian, but when he’s first introduced he’s described as South Asian and Hawkins does the whole describing the skin of non-white characters like food which just really grated. He was the only character who’s skin colour was mentioned and it seemed very exotified and sexualised.

At times, the prose was repetitive (but that was possibly the fault of the editor) and the  use-pronouns-to-avoid-revealing-who-did-it thing was way overused (e.g. ‘It was her voice’ when the her is unknown, instead of ‘It was the Queen’s voice’). However, the story created did draw me in and I wanted to find out what happened. It was…so so.

Rating system:
★☆☆☆☆ = I didn’t like it
★★☆☆☆ = It was okay
★★★☆☆ = I liked it
★★★★☆ = I really enjoyed it
★★★★★ = New favourite book

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

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