The latest buzz book is Hawkins’ debut thriller and frankly, that’s why I read it. To be honest, I felt like it was my professional responsibility to read it since my library patrons are all asking about it, other wise I never would have finished it.
In a word, it’s weird.
The unreliable narrator surged in popularity with Gone Girl – and just a caveat here, I tried to read the Flynn book on three separate occasions and just could not get past the first 40 pages. So I am not the one to do any comparisons there but rather I’m just repeating the oft told comparison in every other review.
That said, Train has a cast of several unreliable characters and the story switches viewpoints among most of them. Rachel is the girl on the train and she is a drunk with blackout issues. She rides the train to London back and forth each day imagining the lives of a couple she names “Jess and Jason.”
Anna is married to Rachel’s ex and understandably no love is lost between them. When Anna’s neighbor Megan goes missing and later is found dead, more details start emerging, and Megan is yet another voice we hear from. Megan turns out to be “Jess” and of course her controlling husband is the first suspect. She lived a few houses down from Rachel’s ex and his new wife, Anna, and there are lots of confrontations between Anna and Rachel.
I had a hard time relating to any of these characters and didn’t really care what happened to any of them. I started to like the book more than three quarters of the way through. That said, I really liked the ending.
2/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE GIRL ON A TRAIN by Paula Hawkins. Riverhead Hardcover (January 13, 2015). ISBN 978-1594633669. 336p.