‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins was a gripping tale, with a slow start in the year 2013 you are introduced to Rachel. A commuter on the train going past the same houses day-in-day-out.
It goes from her morning commute to her evening commute and the repetitiveness of it all sets you in a rhythm, much alike being on a train where the rhythm of its progression lulls you into a comfortable, yet boring, feeling where time almost stands still.
But you are constantly waiting for something to happen, you know something is going to happen, but you're not sure what. So, you wait, almost hoping for something to give it away.
Then suddenly the book transports you to a year earlier and you are introduced to Megan. Then you're thinking ‘who the bloody hell is Megan?’ And later, Anna is brought into the mix and you're already confused enough with the other women that this new narrator just adds to the ambiguity of the book. The more sources you get the further away from the truth you feel.
Well, it all becomes apparent through the time-jumping and constant changing of narration back and forth between Rachel and Megan, with the occasional sprinkling of Anna. It picks up speed, gets interesting and you are desperate for more information.
Without giving too much away, the stories of Rachel, Anna and Megan begin totally separate but by the end you realise just how connected they are.
None of these women can be relied on as narrators and the book is full of twists and turns. It is somewhat refreshing to have them as the main characters though. Normally, the main characters are protagonists that you place on a pedestal. Throughout the book, it becomes clear through the chilling twists that none of them deserves that spot on the pedestal - but that's okay.
The negative characteristics that all the women have are in some instances relatable, realistic and make the story that much more interesting. How boring would it be if they were all perfect? There probably would be no story.
In my opinion, the best part of a thriller is trying to work out whodunnit. And I did. Maybe that is why I enjoyed the book so much but I'm sure it was more to do with the clever narration and literary twists.
Either way, it was a fleeting moment where I was sat gripping the book thinking about the ending and I was like 'Nah, no way, I'll be wrong, that's too crazy'. I wasn't wrong. And it was honestly perfect, not because I got it right, but because it was such a twist you wouldn't have expected it - and if you did think about it, like me, you would have thought it ridiculous too.
Although justice is served, the book doesn't feel like it should end. And the ending is just as open and ambiguous as the rest of the story. It is very quick and our questions are answered but we do not know what happens to our narrators. But again, this is much like real life.
I loved Hawkins' book, part of me wishes I hadn't completely devoured it in one sitting so I could have savoured it. I was just desperate to know. It's a page turner and it really gets you thinking about who you know, and who knows you. Someone could be observing your life from afar too and you just don't know it yet.