Thursday 3 December 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Review

Amanda Kennedy

The Girl on the Train by .
Reviewed by on

This is the book that everyone's talking about. Paperback copies grace the shelves of supermarkets, there's a waiting list of almost a year to check this out at the library, and rumour has it that a movie is in progress.

I rarely pay attention to those books which are considered "fashionable" to have read. Particularly in light of the Fifty Shades fiasco (which I couldn't stomach) and the Twilight series (which I'm ashamed to say I enjoyed!). Yet having seen and heard enough of Paula Hawkin's début I came to realise this was no ordinary pulp fiction, there must be something different about her novel. So I caved in and decided to read it on my tablet.

I'm glad that I did. Were I able to read the whole thing in one session, I probably would have done. It was unlike most other thrillers I've read! Rachel, our "anti-heroine" of the tale, is an ordinary woman: a little round at the edges, likes a drink; unsuccessful in her need to rebuild after a failed marriage.

Every day, Rachel catches the same train following a route to the place she no longer works. She fantasises about the people she sees along the route, making up stories for their lives as she sees them. Until one day she sees something she's just not able to forget.

With little else to occupy her thoughts, she cannot fail to take action, desperate to unravel the mystery and entwine herself in the lives of those affected by a tragedy, even though her presence is unwelcome. Reading The Girl on the Train, I was right there with Rachel: in a body I didn't like, feeling disbelieved by those I hoped would help to shed light on the mystery. Right there as her conscience willing her not to place herself in such dangerous situations...

If you have dithered over whether or not to read this year's best-seller, I urge you to give it a chance. Like me you may be pleasantly surprised!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Amanda Kennedy / Book Blogger, Writer & Editor

Amanda is a lifelong learner and book lover who lives in the North of England with her family and several cats. She writes book reviews, literary news and bookish articles here on All My Pretty Books.

To learn more about Amanda's own work, visit her personal website.


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