The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins was a gift from a friend. Murder/mysteries are not a genre I read often but this one was captivating and I can see why it’s a current best-seller. Rachel has been dumped by her husband Tom in favour of a prettier model and adding agony to insult, her replacement, Anna produced the baby with Tom that Rachel craved but did not conceive.
Rachel is not successful in rebuilding her life. Moving in with a single female acquaintance from university, her drinking problem increases to the point she has blackouts and her lack of control costs her her job. Rather than admit that she’s been fired, Rachel takes the same commuter train at the same time to and from London every day, riding past the back yard of the home she shared with her ex-husband who now lives there with Anna and their baby daughter.
A regular signaling stop for the train permits her to spy on her old neighbourhood which includes a seemingly idyllic couple who live a couple of doors down. Through a combination of peculiar coincidences and intervention, Rachel becomes involved once again in the lives of both her ex-husband and their neighbours that result in a series of events that are both tragic and revealing.
One thing that always makes me uncomfortable, whether in life, in media or in the books I read is lying. I have zero tolerance for liars and little sympathy for the messes they create for themselves. Such was the case when I recently read Emma by Alexander McCaul Smith but even more so in this book. Much as I loved the story with all its twists and surprises, I always find myself thinking how much simpler life would be if people simply told the truth. Telling stories makes for good fiction but has questionable merit in real life, although withholding truth sometimes has its place to prevent hurting someone.
The Girl on The Train is a fun read and in view of the fact this is the author’s first book of fiction, I’m sure we can look forward to more.
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