Book review | The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins



To step on a train to me is going on an adventure, even if it is just for a day. I discovered Sweden and Scotland by train. Both amazing journeys that I would absolutely recommend. A book titled The Girl on the Train is therefore something I had to read.

The Girl on the Train is in short about Rachel who on her daily train journey observes a specific house and makes assumptions about the couple, Scott and Megan, who live in it. After an incident involving Megan, Rachel believes she has seen something worth looking into.

“The train crawls along; it judders past warehouses and water towers, bridges and sheds, past modest Victorian houses, their backs turned squarely to the track. My head leaning against the carriage window, I watch these houses roll past me like a tracking shot in a film. I see them as others do not; even their owners probably don’t see them from this perspective. Twice a day, I am offered a view into other lives” (16).

Paula Hawkins composes incredibly beautiful sentences. I am rather jealous of her style of writing. She is able to gradually build up tension and she basically makes you doubt everyone and everything. It is a real whodunit novel. Right until the very end, I was unsure about who the perpetrator was; this doesn’t happen to me very often.

I did have trouble relating to the main characters though. Probably because I felt we did not have much in common. Rachel is an alcoholic who cannot except her husband leaving her for another woman. Megan is mentally unstable.

To me however a thriller is good when I want to finish it as quickly as possible and this book is a fast read. If there is no one around and you are in for a game of Cluedo, pick up this book and put your feet up. The film adaptation of The Girl on the Train is coming to theatres in October.

Hawkins, Paula. The Girl on the Train. London: Transworld Publishers, 2015.