The Witch’s Bookshelf: The Girl on the Train (Book Review)

The Girl on the Train: Paula Hawkins


I knew I would like The Girl on a Train when I saw the movie trailer in theaters (Snowden being the movie of choice). Now there is always a big difference between movies and books, I know that, but there was just something about the story that pulled me in. So I lept at the chance to pick up a paperback copy of the bestseller and dove in.

Most books take a page or two to get into, a sort of breathing area where you get used to the authors voice, or try to put the world together in your mind. This novel managed to skip all of that. I felt quite at home in Rachel’s skin right away. Honestly this preceding sentence sums up the entire book, feeling at home, cozy. Not that the plot was a cozy plot, it was indeed a rather twisted and mysterious plot, but the voice and world were cozy. I know no author ever wants to hear this, but I could easily put the book down and come back later. I think this is a compliment to her writing style though. You don’t always want to read an edge of the seat sort of novel.

The novel is split into three different points of view, which from what I’ve heard makes the movie rather confusing. Rachel feels like the main character, most of the time is spent in her body. She is a lonely drunk, fighting the feeling that she is crazy, fighting the blackness that comes when she gets too drunk. She spends everyday riding the train into London (hence the title), and staring at the houses as they go by, fixating on the one a few doors away from her former house (where her ass of an ex lives with the girl who he cheated on her with, Anna). Megan Hipwell (who Rachel has christened with another name, imagining her life from the outside) makes up the second point of view. Megan is, in Rachel’s point of view, missing for pretty much the whole book, but we flash back to her life as it was before she disappeared. Anna is the third point of view, living there on that street, suffering Rachel’s constant harassment. All of these points of view come together to weave a nice puzzle, each chapter leaving another clue. To tell you the truth it had me guessing til the very end, which is no small feat.

I highly suggest this novel, especially if you like something slower. It was well written, well put together, a perfectly done plot, the ending was in no way disappointing. If you’re worried you won’t like it, I’d read the first part of chapter one, you’ll know by then.


Have you seen the movie yet?

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