Review: The Girl on the Train
Released by Riverhead Books on 13 January 2015
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?
When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued. It was pitched as ‘The next Gone Girl’, which was a book that I didn’t particularly enjoy, but still I was interested. Because I’ve always loved mysteries and thrillers and such, so I really wanted to try out this book. Then, I saw a free trial for Audible, the Amazon audiobook service, and decided to try it out. I got two books for free, and one of them was The Girl on the Train.
The Girl on the Train is about Rachel, who takes the same train to London every morning. The 8:04. The train almost always stops at the same red sign, in front of the same row of houses. And every morning, Rachel looks out into the garden of one of the houses, and sees ‘Jess and Jason’, a couple who she has imagined a whole story around. But one morning, she sees something that isn’t right, and the next day Jess – or as she’s really called, Megan Hipwell – has gone missing. Rachel goes to the police to tell what she’s seen the day before, and gets swept up into the investigation of the disappearance of Megan.
To be honest, I was going to wait with buying and reading it until next year, mainly because I just had a lot of other books I wanted to read – and because it was a super hyped book. And I am quite wary of super hyped books because they can be amazing – but they can also be awful. But then I got it for free and decided to check it out while I was working.
There are six ‘main’ characters in this book, three of which – the ladies – get POV’s in the story. We have Rachel – an alcoholic who keeps bothering her ex-husband and his new wife. Megan – the missing girl, who has a couple of secrets of her own. And Anna – the ex-husban’s new wife. To be honest, I didn’t particularly like any of them more than the other; in fact I just didn’t really like any of them. They were all unreliable narrators, they were all keeping secrets from other people throughout this book.
I did really dislike Anna more than the rest though, because she was so full of herself. She kept comparing herself to Rachel – praising herself and bringing Rachel down more than she already was. And after a while I just got tired of that. View Spoiler »I mean Anna is the woman Tom (the husband) had an affair with while he was still married to Rachel. She got pregnant and then Tom kicked out Rachel and literally two days after she’d left, Anna moved in already. Rachel isn’t perfect, no, but Anna was just awful. « Hide Spoiler
Personally, I didn’t think the majority of the story was that thrilling, I was expecting more from it after seeing all those five-star reviews. The last couple of chapters, I’d say the last hour or so of my audiobook, was the part that was super thrilling and I couldn’t stop listening even though I was already at home. The reveal at the end didn’t shock me as much as it did with Dangerous Girls but I was quite surprised to be honest. I hadn’t suspected this person that much and after a while I’d just suspected other people already and forgotten about them.
The narration in the audiobook was really well done, I found two out of three voices very pleasant to listen to. When I first heard the voice of Megan I thought that she sounded familiar already. It wasn’t until I was halfway through the book that I found out it was Louise Brealy, also known as Molly Hooper from Sherlock. I decided then that I liked her voice the best. The other two voices, Clare Corbett and India Fisher were alright too, but I didn’t really like the narrator for Anna. I don’t know why, but her voice was a bit annoying in my opinion.
In the end, I did enjoy The Girl on the Train even though I didn’t think it was as thrilling as everyone said. Even though I disliked most of the main characters. It was a good thriller, and I enjoyed listening to it while I was working. I do recommend this book for people who loved Gone Girl, Dangerous Girls and just thrillers in general.
My opinion in one gif: