Rachel took me on her journey and it felt like I was blacking out with her. Anna made me feel fear and annoyance at Rachel. Megan was someone I’d never want to be in life. The Girl On The Train is a breathtaking thriller you’d want to read.
Ron on the train… well tube. London Underground, specifically. But hey, London commuters inspired this book!
Summary, Minimal Spoilers Ahead
The Girl, Rachel, takes the same train, in and out of her town to London, and passes by series of houses by the rail racks. One of which is owned by her “ideal” couple. The other is her old house with her old husband. She likes to ogle at this couple, completely and creepily obsessing over them. Making up stories about them in her mind while drunk all day, everyday.
Megan is the girl of Rachel’s ideal couple. Except, in Rachel’s head, she’s Jess.
Anna, the new wife, gives us a perspective of Rachel which Rachel can’t give us. Mostly because she’s always drunk and can’t recall things she’s done after.
The book narrates from the perspective of these 3 girls. All of whom have issues of their own. Not that the problem hasn’t started yet with Rachel’s alcoholism and obsessions over Jess and Jason (Megan & Scott), Rachel, taking her usual train, spots Megan with another guy. Rachel also wakes up with cuts and head injuries without recollection of how she got them. And then, Megan suddenly went missing.
Rachel, thinking she may have done something horrible while drunk, decides she’ll figure out this case. Connect the dots, so to speak. Where is Megan? Who was the other guy? Why did she have bruises and cuts? Did the man she keeps spotting aboard the same train have anything to do with that forgotten night?
Warning, Major Spoilers Ahead
Though it starts slow, the story picks up after we’ve gotten to know a bit of the three girls. And while the changing narrator frustrated me, I think it’s an important way to piece the puzzle together. The questions bothered me, made me hold my breath and kept me reading page after page.
I am not an alcoholic myself nor have I ever been so drunk I’d black out, so I can’t empathize. But Rachel made me sympathize with her frustration and broken past. She went through so much and it was naturally portrayed by the author. Reading through some of the reviews online, people who have experience with alcoholics said that the events were very likely to happen beyond fiction.
I’d want to say Anna was the most sane among the three. But she cheated her way to Rachel’s husband’s heart. I wouldn’t fully blame her, though. There are 2 sides in an adultery story, always. But that seems to be her only fault. Even during the ending, I applauded what she did.
It was Megan who I really can’t feel anything for. She was just a mess. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to like her and root for her? Because I just can’t and won’t. I’m not even sure what her struggle was aside from being just an awful human being.
I have not seen the movie so I have no means of comparing them. But reviewing the book and its story alone, this is a must read. It was a thriller you wouldn’t want to put down. No matter how frustrating or annoying, it makes you want to figure things out in the end, have your questions answered. They say the twist in the end was obvious, but I actually never thought of it. Everything clicked when the author made it click. And if you want something relatable, The Girl on the Train isn’t that, at all. Unless you’re an adulterer, an alcoholic or a murderer.