The last novel we read for my book club was „Girl on the train“ by Paula Hawkins. I would describe it as a thriller. The story centres around Rachel who takes the train every day to work in London and while doing so looks at one suburban house in particular and imagines stories about the couple who live there and their “perfect lives”. She then witnesses something strange one day. Shortly after she finds out that the women, Meghan, has gone missing. She soon finds herself getting more and more involved in the case as she tries to help solve it.
One of the criticisms in my book club was that none of the female characters were likable and that they were also very weak. Take Rachel for instance whose life revolved around her husband and falls apart after their marriage ends. She treats some people badly and generally her life is mess. Anna, her ex’s new wife, had no problem breaking up a marriage. Personally I still felt sympathetic towards Rachel and was rooting for her. The reason given for her turning to alcohol was that she and her ex husband had dealt with infertility issues and had an unsuccessful round of IVF which I know is very difficult for anyone to go through.
The book gets compared to “Gone girl” a fair bit and there are certainly many similarities. Both are action-thrillers, involve a mystery around a woman going missing and have twists and turns. So if you liked Gone Girl you probably would also enjoy the Girl on the Train, although overall I would say I didn't find it quite as good as the former. One of the things I enjoyed about the book was the fact that I suspected every single character at some point of being involved and there were also some clever twists. Once I got further into the story I found I was really eager to find out what going to happen next and I devoured it quickly.
Overall I liked the book, though as I mentioned it might not be to everyone’s taste. I’m looking forward to watching the film which stars Emily Blunt who I've always found to be a really good actress. The trailer is out already. I do think it’s a shame that the location has been moved to
York instead of
Have you read Girl on the Train? Will you go to the film?
Hiya I just finished it two days ago. I liked it, but was a bit underwhelmed at the end: it didn't really surprise me who the killer was. I agree that none of the female characters are likeable (or the male ones!, but I liked Rachel the best for all her infallabilities - she seemed the most human. She's a mess though, and a terrible representation of an infertile woman: I hope people don't think they all go barmy like that! I definitely liked her 'voice' the most, though. Yes I'm gutted that they moved the location from London - why bloody why? It won't be as gritty; also, that thing about trundling into the city on the train and looking at the backs of the houses - IT IS A 100% LONDON THING!ReplyDelete
No idea why they moved the location, I think most people who read the book agree it should have been set in London! I hope people don't think all infertile women think like Rachel did! She got so bitter and treated her friends badly.Delete
I loved the book, and actually read it for my bookclub last year, too! I picked it, even though I knew there was an infertility subtext. I thought that Paula Hawkins did a terrific job of writing Rachel's thoughts on infertility. There was a whole page that I flagged because she just explained it all so well, from how it feels to fail to having difficulty being with people with small children while you are finding it incredibly difficult to conceive, to talking about the impact funding for cycles has on the ability to continue with treatment. I thought she must have either known someone who went through it or gone through it herself. I was a little disturbed to have my book club friends tell me that Rachel reminded them of me, I hope more for the infertility aspect than the vomiting up the stairs and pissing herself drunkenness, but I took it with a grain of salt! I can't believe they are moving it out of London. Although, to move it to New York works too, because as I read it I remembered working in NYC and taking the commuter train back to Yonkers or White Plains, and I totally saw people's backyards and could visualize it that way. I will see the movie, as I really enjoyed the book (and like Different Shores found the male characters unlikeable, but more so than the female ones). I also wanted to find out where you can get G&Ts in a can, but a friend told me that's NOT really what I'm supposed to get from the book. :) Lastly... I hate when books are compared to Gone Girl. Nothing is quite as good as Gone Girl, and that right there tells me too much about the new book and I'm always looking for the twist, and it's just never going to be as good as the original, and I'm left disappointed. Girl on A Train is the only book that's stacked up pretty well though, it's original in its own way.ReplyDelete
I'd also heard beforehand that there was infertility issues in the book so I'd been curious to see how it was handled. I would have been a bit insulted if my friends said Rachel reminded them of me! I could relate to the fact that she found IVF so hard and could understand why she wouldn't want to do any more rounds and then also how hard it can be when other friends get pregnant. Of course we don't all become bitter alcoholics thankfully! Haha, to your comment on wondering where you can get G&Ts in a can!Delete
I just started this last night! I didn't read your whole post cause I wasn't sure if there were any spoilers. But, I'm getting excited about spending the next few evenings with my face in this book.ReplyDelete
Cool, I hope you enjoyed it! I find it hard to put down once I got into the storyDelete