- Member of the Twister Hall of Fame
- Author: Paula Hawkins
- Published January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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 goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
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This story is actually told from three women’s points of view. For all intents and purposes, you will only remember Rachel. She’s the main character and her drunken memories help to create, dare I say it? The all-time MOST UNRELIABLE NARRATOR in literary history. That’s why I love this book so much! Well, one of the reasons. Actually, every character in this book is unreliable. Who can you trust? NO ONE. Put the clues together and solve this mystery yourself.
The new label being thrown around these days is “domestic noir” and I believe describes this sub-genre much better than “psychological thriller”or “chick” noir (ick). This is the tribe of books I have embraced. And millions others. We may be in danger of overdosing on domestic noir now.
The novelist, Julia Crouch, described the subgenre in her blog in 2013. “In a nutshell, Domestic Noir takes place primarily in homes and workplaces, concerns itself largely (but not exclusively) with the female experience, is based around relationships and takes as its base a broadly feminist view that the domestic sphere is a challenging and sometimes dangerous prospect for its inhabitants.”
Paula Hawkins set the domestic noir scene on fire with this book. We had all been waiting (2 years!) for someone to replace Gillian Flynn on the bestseller list and she did it. Girl on the the Train is a much more delicious variation on the textbook standard that Gone Girl had established. I think it is an easier, faster read than Gone Girl and not as cynically, bitterly dark and depressing as Gone Girl.
The highly anticipated movie version of The Girl on the Train left me deflated. I thought it was shot in such a slick manner, way too glossy while the book was unabashedly gritty. I couldn’t get past that! Oh, Hollywood. What are ya gonna do about it? I love Emily Blunt as Rachel. But, the movie is a miss. Read the book.
BTW: the Audible version is outstanding.