There was so much hype surrounding this book over August and September and when I finally got my mitts on a lovely big hardback copy of it from Waterstones, I was stoked to get into it. Sadly, the font size on the hardback edition is so small that I couldn’t possibly have read it without my eyes hurting (even with my glasses on.) So I gave up and paid for the same book once again, but on Kindle. I rarely buy books anyway because I much prefer the backlit screen and adjustable font of a Kindle but recently I treated myself to a couple because sometimes it’s just nice to have a real life books… I guess not. Also note that Laline Paul’s The Bees is on sale at 99p on Kindle when I just bought the £8.99 paperback edition. Sadface.
So here it is, the book that seemed to take both the blogosphere and my workplace by storm. Once I’d started tattering on about The Girl on the Train, my surrounding colleagues and friends caught on too, borrowing my various editions. After struggling with the font size on and off for a fortnight and finally giving in to the Kindle edition, I read the bulk of this novel in one night. I sat down after work at around 40% progress, read right through until 2am until I hit the 90% mark and finished off the final 10% the next morning at work.
The Girl on the Train tells the story of Rachel, a sad 30-something alcoholic who has let her life slip slowly out of touch. Her daily train commute past the back of her old street leads her from an innocent imaginary scenario to a full blown murder investigation. The unreliability of Rachel as a narrator really propells the story forward, building trust in other characters and losing faith in her. The addition of two other female narrators whose stories intertwine with Rachel’s really makes for a plot that slowly unravels.
Since this book has been compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl thousands of times already, I will straight up point out that I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. When I read Gone Girl, I found the motives and ending fascinating while feeling disappointed by the closing chapter of the book. I was sad by how it was all left. Whereas in The Girl on the Train I found myself perfectly satisfied with the ending of the book and how things pan out for the characters but thorough dissatisfied with the answer to the never ending question of WHODUNNIT.
Have you read The Girl on the Train? How did you feel about it?