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The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins | Summary & Analysis

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The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins | Summary & Analysis This is a Summary & Analysis of The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins’ debut novel The Girl on the Train is a suspenseful thriller filled with a complex plot, shocking twists at every turn, and an ending that will both stun and leave the reader wanting more. Hawkins’ novel relates the story of Rach The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins | Summary & Analysis This is a Summary & Analysis of The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins’ debut novel The Girl on the Train is a suspenseful thriller filled with a complex plot, shocking twists at every turn, and an ending that will both stun and leave the reader wanting more. Hawkins’ novel relates the story of Rachel Watson who has spent the last few years stumbling through life in a booze-filled depression ever since her husband left her for another woman. Now she wiles away her days riding the commuter train to and from London, despite having been fired from her job months ago. The train makes a daily stop by her old neighborhood and it is here she spies a couple appearing to be living a perfect life. All of a sudden events take an unexpected turn. This companion to The Girl on the Train also includes the following: • Book Review • Story Setting Analysis • Story elements you may have missed as we decipher the novel • Details of Characters & Key Character Analysis • Summary of the text, with some analytical comments interspersed • Discussion & Analysis of Themes, Symbols… • And Much More! This Analysis of The Girl on the Train fills the gap, making you understand more while enhancing your reading experience.


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The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins | Summary & Analysis This is a Summary & Analysis of The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins’ debut novel The Girl on the Train is a suspenseful thriller filled with a complex plot, shocking twists at every turn, and an ending that will both stun and leave the reader wanting more. Hawkins’ novel relates the story of Rach The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins | Summary & Analysis This is a Summary & Analysis of The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins’ debut novel The Girl on the Train is a suspenseful thriller filled with a complex plot, shocking twists at every turn, and an ending that will both stun and leave the reader wanting more. Hawkins’ novel relates the story of Rachel Watson who has spent the last few years stumbling through life in a booze-filled depression ever since her husband left her for another woman. Now she wiles away her days riding the commuter train to and from London, despite having been fired from her job months ago. The train makes a daily stop by her old neighborhood and it is here she spies a couple appearing to be living a perfect life. All of a sudden events take an unexpected turn. This companion to The Girl on the Train also includes the following: • Book Review • Story Setting Analysis • Story elements you may have missed as we decipher the novel • Details of Characters & Key Character Analysis • Summary of the text, with some analytical comments interspersed • Discussion & Analysis of Themes, Symbols… • And Much More! This Analysis of The Girl on the Train fills the gap, making you understand more while enhancing your reading experience.

30 review for The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins | Summary & Analysis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol Snyder

    I hated this book! The three main characters (women) are just downright pathetic. Among them you can barely scrape together a morsel of good sense or an ounce of dignity. I think I was supposed to feel sorry for their plights but I was too busy being annoyed. If it wasn't for the mystery aspect of the story I would have abandoned them on the tracks but I felt obligated to ride to out....a what a dreary uninteresting ride it was. If you like stories about pathetic drunks, bored housewives and dep I hated this book! The three main characters (women) are just downright pathetic. Among them you can barely scrape together a morsel of good sense or an ounce of dignity. I think I was supposed to feel sorry for their plights but I was too busy being annoyed. If it wasn't for the mystery aspect of the story I would have abandoned them on the tracks but I felt obligated to ride to out....a what a dreary uninteresting ride it was. If you like stories about pathetic drunks, bored housewives and depressed waifs sitting on trains and crying in their living rooms this one's for you!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    What is all the hoopla about? I don't get it. Is it because of the breakneck pace of the story? Please, somebody tell me. It was a fast read--read it in two days--but in the end, I didn't like any of the characters. I read it because I heard an interview with the author and the premise sounded great. But I didn't believe these people. The text is cliche ridden, too. I'm glad it's over.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This book was so poorly written.... 5 characters. 3 abused witless women and two violent men. Who was most painfully abused? The reader.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Guidarini

    January’s been a restless reading time, exacerbated by the winter blues. I haven’t been able to settle down to anything, bouncing from book to book, nothing holding my interest longer than a few dozen pages at best. It’s been an agony for someone as reliant on the love of reading as I am. I’m used to falling back on reading as a means of escaping life’s troubles. When I don’t have that outlet I tend to get frustrated and flustered. It’s damned awful. My savior came in the form of Paula Hawkins’ T January’s been a restless reading time, exacerbated by the winter blues. I haven’t been able to settle down to anything, bouncing from book to book, nothing holding my interest longer than a few dozen pages at best. It’s been an agony for someone as reliant on the love of reading as I am. I’m used to falling back on reading as a means of escaping life’s troubles. When I don’t have that outlet I tend to get frustrated and flustered. It’s damned awful. My savior came in the form of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, a well-paced and sparing novel I flew through in two days. Part of the reason I consumed it so voraciously was the mystery element, of course. The deeper you get into the book the harder it is to restrain yourself from paging forward to see how it ends – not that I’m that sort of reader, but if I were I’d have had a very difficult time holding myself back. The other reason is the deceptively simple style and the stylistic choice of giving alternating points of view of the main characters, one per chapter. I love getting inside the heads of more than the main character, especially when the author is skilled enough to give the reader just enough intrigue, not enough to figure out the answer too soon. Hawkins’ novel is being compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, for obvious, yet not quite stylistically true reasons. Both books feature beautiful blonde wives who go missing (which is a bit cliché), criminal suspicion falling on the husband – not unusual in real world missing person cases. Also, both involve affairs likely to have played a role in foul play, as well as a sub-theme of pregnancy: one partner who wants a baby, while the other has more complicated feelings. In The Girl on the Train the main character is Rachel Watson, ex-wife of Tom Watson, an unsympathetic character who left Rachel for a young, beautiful blonde (again …) named Anna. Rachel, already battling the alcoholism partly at fault for ending her marriage, falls apart. She harasses Tom and Anna even two years following her divorce, calling their home in the middle of the night, showing up on their doorstep drunk and disheveled. Though sympathy for Rachel is easier than Tom, I found myself becoming irritated with her inability to clean herself up and move on. While I understood her pain, she made herself pathetic holding onto Tom’s leg, drinking herself sloppy. We all know heartbreak but for God’s sake pick yourself up and move on! The woman who goes missing was not Anna Watson but rather another beautiful, petite blonde who lived a few doors down from the Watsons, Megan Hipwel. What gives this novel such a unique edge is the method by which Rachel comes to know of Megan, before her disappearance. Taking the commuter train from the suburbs into London twice a day, Rachel passes her former home. Spying on her husband’s new life, she comes to notice the house a few doors down and the blonde woman and her ideal, handsome husband who often sit and watch the trains from their terrace. She sees them so often she gives them names, imagining their lives. They become her idea of the perfect couple. Coincidentally, from the train Rachel also witnesses an event in the back garden of the ideal couple, something that upsets her more than it really should. And, when Megan goes missing, Rachel believes she may hold a key piece of evidence. However, being a drunken, unreliable witness, the police don’t take her seriously. She’s already admitted she was on the street both her husband and Megan live on the night Megan disappeared, and has denied seeing another soul. They know she’s obsessive and they know she’s a drunk. She blacked out that same night. Rachel can hardly trust herself, either, much less unravel fact from fiction. Unlike Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train uses a much more believable method of obscuring the truth than the not quite believable machinations of a brilliant and psychotic main female character. The book relies on Rachel’s blackouts, much more realistic as a plot device. Hawkins slyly presents us with good and murderous characters, keeping the plot taut via Rachel’s lost night, which seems to be key. Even that she twists, lulling the reader into believing one truth, then switching things up. Rachel is a good person who’s been terribly hurt, and her impulses aren’t easily controlled. No one quite trusts her, so when she ultimately remembers the truth, will the police listen to her? And is it even the truth? The Girl on the Train is a sometimes flawed but compelling read that unwinds itself slowly. It’s possible to guess the ending, and yes, I did, but the tension makes it no less an exciting read. Is it worth the claim it’s the next Gone Girl? In some ways I’d argue it surpasses it. You can believe it and relate to the often frustrating characters. It’s something that could happen, not a plot so far-fetched it comes off annoying. There is such a thing as too many twists. The Girl on the Train has just enough. Recommended, especially if you find yourself in a reading drought and need an unputdownable book to get you back on track..

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    A total page turner, can't-put-it-down kind of book. Most mystery readers will figure out by the middle of the book who done it. Written in the style of Gone Girl, the author incorporates jarring twists of perspectives based on three unreliable, and ultimately unlikable narrators. The characters are little more than veneers; the book is entirely plot driven. A quick read, good for the beach.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natali

    The only reason I can see for this book being so popular is because it's salacious, fucked up, and a fast read. But the writing can be hard to follow, the change in narration doesn't work as well as it does for other books, and the entire plot relies on the protagonist being a blackout drunk. Had she been anything less than a devastating addict, the plot would have unfolded easily in about 10 pages. Which is why I am annoyed that I had to read 300 pages in the mind of an alcoholic to find out a The only reason I can see for this book being so popular is because it's salacious, fucked up, and a fast read. But the writing can be hard to follow, the change in narration doesn't work as well as it does for other books, and the entire plot relies on the protagonist being a blackout drunk. Had she been anything less than a devastating addict, the plot would have unfolded easily in about 10 pages. Which is why I am annoyed that I had to read 300 pages in the mind of an alcoholic to find out a plot that was neither clever not shocking. But it only cost me about 3 days of reading and now I see what all the fuss was about. Moving along.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Stone

    I honestly wanted to like this novel. I love thrillers and mysteries, and I wanted this book to be like "Into the Darkest Corner" or even "Gone Girl." But it just isn't. The writing is not terrible but the characters have NO redeeming qualities. None. There's no sense of reality because literally everyone in the story is pretty terrible. I'm all for a protagonist who is troubled by her past, or by alcoholism, or whatever, but Rachel whines and cries and is generally an annoying character to foll I honestly wanted to like this novel. I love thrillers and mysteries, and I wanted this book to be like "Into the Darkest Corner" or even "Gone Girl." But it just isn't. The writing is not terrible but the characters have NO redeeming qualities. None. There's no sense of reality because literally everyone in the story is pretty terrible. I'm all for a protagonist who is troubled by her past, or by alcoholism, or whatever, but Rachel whines and cries and is generally an annoying character to follow. If you want to read a good thriller, do yourself a favor and read anything by Elizabeth Haynes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Starr

    Read it in one snowy day- couldn't put it down-should be made into a movie !!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    I thought I would enjoy this book more as the reviews have been good and it is on the best seller list, but I was a bit disappointed in the read. The mystery was drawn out and the confusion with the narration did not help the story line. The story was interesting though. The story focuses on, Rachel, who is unemployed, has alcohol problems, and rides the train each day. She looks out the train window and passes her ex-husband's house every day and she also watches a couple in another house. The I thought I would enjoy this book more as the reviews have been good and it is on the best seller list, but I was a bit disappointed in the read. The mystery was drawn out and the confusion with the narration did not help the story line. The story was interesting though. The story focuses on, Rachel, who is unemployed, has alcohol problems, and rides the train each day. She looks out the train window and passes her ex-husband's house every day and she also watches a couple in another house. The long tale back and forth from characters actually begins when a missing woman is found dead. Rachel's black outs and her obsession with her ex husband are a big part of the story. The murder's identity is not hard to figure out but I did question the reality of some of the events. Maybe it s because I am not a keen fan of mysteries, but let me know if you enjoy the book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Weyer

    Good, suspenseful, but not heart-stopping. Rachel is self-obsessed, lonely and not particularly likeable. Nor is anyone in this story. I wanted to hang on to one person and ride it through, but I couldn't get a grip on anyone. A good book, not great, but definitely good. The writing is wonderful, the story good, but something's missing. A sympathetic character, perhaps? It's all so sordid and gloomy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Judith Moffatt

    Exciting from start to finish. Who dunit? I could not guess until the end. often times I can guess. Other times I could never guess because the author didn't play fair by giving out enough information. The Girl on a Train had plenty of information, it was just right. I also enjoy books set in England. Love the terminology.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily Hindelang

    I waited a long time to read this book since it is so popular, and I was on the library wait list. The book was a very quick and easy read, but I found every character to be uninteresting and exhausting with their various drinking/psychological issues.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Bisson

    I liked this book better than Gone Girl. Found the main character unlikeable at times. But it was a very interesting premise, and suspenseful. Held my interest. Good murder mystery.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenine Lee

    Very easy read, kept my attention but felt something was missing in general. I didn't warm to any of the characters and a few things didn't quite add up/make sense.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kazpatty

    Amazing book. Did not want to put it down....loved how the author moved the stray along!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    James Calvin

    I don't know that it makes any of us certifiably delusional, but who hasn't looked at a particular person or a couple of people and painted a life over, around, and through them? Who hasn't seen a pair of lovers in a mall and imagined a life, as if people were paper dolls? Long, long ago, I took the very same road to school for two long years--same time, every day, twenty minutes of single-lane highway where I met the very same cars every morning and every late afternoon. Okay, I was lonely, big I don't know that it makes any of us certifiably delusional, but who hasn't looked at a particular person or a couple of people and painted a life over, around, and through them? Who hasn't seen a pair of lovers in a mall and imagined a life, as if people were paper dolls? Long, long ago, I took the very same road to school for two long years--same time, every day, twenty minutes of single-lane highway where I met the very same cars every morning and every late afternoon. Okay, I was lonely, big-time lonely; but I remember imagining a whole series of lives around those folks the moment I'd see that same VW or that green Honda. Fantasy, I guess, right? A wonderful premise stands at the gateway to this story and begins the tale Paula Hawkins tells in The Girl on the Train. A divorcee named Rachel, a woman languishing in her own poisoned abandonment and drinking herself into oblivion, dutifully, even passionately builds a fantasy life around a darling young couple she observes every morning from the window of a commuter train. Understandably, she imbues their lives with all the successes she thought she once had before her wandering husband found a hotter number. Slowly, what we discover is that her daily commutes bring her nowhere because basically her life is a train wreck. She has no job and no sense of purpose, which, strangely enough, makes her a more than willing victim. She commutes nowhere--well, except into horror. Think Hitchcock. All of the women in this novel are going nowhere. There's Rachel, and there's Anna, the woman who has literally stolen Rachel's bed, her husband still hustling beneath and atop its sheets. Finally there's Megan, the nomadic lover who is glamorized into the happy housewife by Rachel, the girl on the train who's really commuting to the liquor store, a ratty, overweight slob at the heart of things. They've all "been done wrong" by their cheatin' lovers, who, for the most part, are basically lascivious liars. (Okay, confession--I'm male.) All three women are all messed up because of the men in their lives. They're hopelessly whiny, so caught up in their own soap operas that it's not at all surprising that even the therapist hustles. You gotta love the plot of this novel. You gotta suspend disbelief and go with the narrative flow, get caught up in the race to know whodunit. You got to get tripped up by the mystery in order to love The Girl on the Train. And it works. It works blessedly and beautifully. I was in the novel all the way, every painful step along the path. Listen, The Girl on the Train is a dark, dark novel. Sure, there's some redemption at the end when the perp gets his long-sought-for comeuppance, but untangling truth from delirium and out-and-out falsehood is the game that grabs your imagination and won't let go until you turn that last bloody page. My gripe isn't with the novel itself. It's with the genre. In order to engineer plot with the mega-success Hawkins does in this story, she has to not care much about her characters. Where plot is glorified, character get ruthless treatment; and that's what happens in A Girl on a Train. We turn pages, caring only about how this blame dirty thing is going to end. It's a great ride on the lives of three Oprah-bound women--well, two, seeing one of them is bludgeoned, three hopeless cases who basically have no lives other than what they're mutual pathologies can create for themselves. They're whiny and self-absorbed as a vagrant band of middle-school-ers. But in The Girl on a Train, you just can't help wondering who did the dirty deed, and that's the burning question, the steam engine that pulls you along the tracks so mercilessly. They lie, of course--I mean, this kind of genre novel. These novels lie about us, about our humanness. But everybody knows that when they open the covers because that's what we're looking for, to lose ourselves in stories, the same way, I suppose, I loved losing my lonely self in creating lives for the people I met daily on my way to school. It's fantasy, and it's the stuff of fiction. Did I love the book? No. Was I lost in it? Yes. Sort of.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lorena Torres

    This book was a weekend book. It's a book that you want to read when there is no good books to read. Not that there is never any good books to read. It's what I like to call a kill your brain cells book. A book that you read in a day or two and say did I just waste my time reading this. Is it a good book: yes and no. Every author has their own style of writing. I recently open up my horizon to novels and non Fiction so I am yet to judge what's good in a sense to these particular novels but I can This book was a weekend book. It's a book that you want to read when there is no good books to read. Not that there is never any good books to read. It's what I like to call a kill your brain cells book. A book that you read in a day or two and say did I just waste my time reading this. Is it a good book: yes and no. Every author has their own style of writing. I recently open up my horizon to novels and non Fiction so I am yet to judge what's good in a sense to these particular novels but I can personally tell you that this book was like a bad movie. Half way through it I already figured it out and I had to finish it, because that's what I do. Yes, it had its ups and downs and twist and turns but nothing that made me say "OMG did that just happen" Page turner, no but I needed to finish the book because once I start something I finish. It was very PG13 if you ask me. Written like Gone Girl but nothing remotely compared to Flynn style of writing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Charm Calderini

    The pace of this book at its early part was very slow for me, I contemplated not finishing it. But I'm glad I soldiered on. It started to pick up it's pace right at the middle and became the riveting thriller that it purported to be. It kept me guessing as to who the killer is and the twist in the end is quite believable, not too far-fetched. Is this being made into a movie yet? 'Cause I already have a cast in mind!

  19. 4 out of 5

    David

    This book started off like the best Alfred Hitchcock movies: there is nothing obviously out of place, but there is the feeling that something nasty is just around the corner or creeping up behind. She built the atmosphere and set things up well, and then it turned out to be a pot boiler. Very disappointing, but I was generous and awarded it two stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ebonie Macleod

    Disappointing and predictable the only reason I finished reading it was to confirm the conclusions I had drawn from two chapters in. The characters are unlike able and whilst attempting to write in the same style as Gillian Flynn it lacks the joie de vivre required. Cannot understand the hype outside of the fact that it's a book you can knock over quickly.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Larie

    A riveting mystery reminiscent of Gone Girl. A young woman, still suffering after a painful divorce must deal with her own alcoholism and shifting memories to confront the truth about someone she thinks she still loves, but never really knew. The story keeps you guessing right up until the end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Calebisbabe

    I absolutely loved this book. Very suspenseful and I was clueless till the end as to what was going to happen. I thought it was well written and might have to read it again someday soon, I could not put this book down

  23. 4 out of 5

    Praseetha

    This is a very poor man's Gone Girl. I felt nothing towards any of the characters - no sympathy, no joy - just no connection. I finished the read due a sense of obligation.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Westerman

    Good summer beach book

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vonnie

    I'm torn with this book. It kept my interest, but there wasn't one character in the entire cast that I like, or even had empathy for.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    This summary and analysis was just a waste of money.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ann Hoff

    In the beginning, this book was okay- good enough that I felt interested in pursuing it. Right away, they have several female characters, and the dates are different. The main character quickly becomes an evident idiot, and I am shocked at the lack of a life she has. She is an alcoholic, lost her job months ago, only has 1 friend that can still stand her, and apparently passes out blind drunk constantly when she is on her own- not caring if she makes it home or anyone is there to take care of he In the beginning, this book was okay- good enough that I felt interested in pursuing it. Right away, they have several female characters, and the dates are different. The main character quickly becomes an evident idiot, and I am shocked at the lack of a life she has. She is an alcoholic, lost her job months ago, only has 1 friend that can still stand her, and apparently passes out blind drunk constantly when she is on her own- not caring if she makes it home or anyone is there to take care of her (ever heard of designated driver? I have a hard time believing that someone would be so careless with their welfare). She has no means of support but doesn't worry about money, in fact, all she can think about is a couple she sees for seconds each day on the train. If you ever wanted to tell someone to get a life, it is her. In fact, several CD's in, I started wondering why I was wasting my time reading about such a vapid head case. There is a murder in the story, and it is really quite evident who did it because there are only 3 male characters in the whole book. This woman is someone I would be embarrassed to be friends with, yet supposedly the missing woman's husband sleeps with her, and the other two women in the story are "gorgeous". I found myself wondering what she looks like, when she drinks 2-3 bottles of wine a day while thinking non-stop about people she doesn't even know. In the end, none of the characters in this book were worth caring about. You don't like the main character, her husband's new wife had an affair with him before they divorced so she is not sympathetic, and the woman who was murdered feels 2 dimensional and not fleshed out. I expected so much more, and it was a struggle with the last two CD's to continue listening to it. IT makes me wonder if my standards are too high- but authors like Steven King and Dean Koontz consistantly create good stories- this book isn't even up to the level of a Spenser for Hire book or Patricia Cornwell. If I was not listening to the audio, I never would have finished it. I kind of take offense to when a woman author writes female characters that are so absurd. There is enough woman bashing out there without one of our own adding to it. The plot to this book could have been told in a short story, but instead we spend copious time with the lead character drinking, wondering about black outs, when someone would call- I didn't obsess so much over guys when I was a teenager, and I find it hard to believe a woman is as vapid &stupid as this one. I found myself thinking, "Idiot" thru much of the second part of the book. There are many intelligent, well crafted, engaging books available. Don't waste your time on this one.

  28. 5 out of 5

    oleeleeo

    There is a lot of buzz about this book. After waiting oh, several months on the library list I got to read this finally. Annoyingly people are comparing this to 'Gone Girl'. The story switches narratives between each character. It starts off from the viewpoint of Rachel, a divorced, mid thirties woman who commutes on a train each day and likes a tipple (Brit slang for she pounds the hooch) of three even if it's 8:30 in the morning. The sad sack, drunk woman gazes out at the row of homes she passe There is a lot of buzz about this book. After waiting oh, several months on the library list I got to read this finally. Annoyingly people are comparing this to 'Gone Girl'. The story switches narratives between each character. It starts off from the viewpoint of Rachel, a divorced, mid thirties woman who commutes on a train each day and likes a tipple (Brit slang for she pounds the hooch) of three even if it's 8:30 in the morning. The sad sack, drunk woman gazes out at the row of homes she passes each morning and she's created a romantic narrative of 'Jess and Jason' (the names she's given the lovely, happy looking couple she sees out on their terrace each day). Then one day in the news a young woman is reported as missing. Rachel recognizes the woman as 'Jess' the beautiful half of the couple she sees each day. The missing woman is named Meghan. Rachel is impelled to report to the police something she saw: the woman was with a man (not her husband) and perhaps that can give them a lead in their line of questioning suspects. And Rachel longs to insert herself into something larger than her, to feel needed and important. This of course backfires rather dramatically and splendidly and makes for excellent reading. Rachel's ex husband, Tom, his mistress cum wife, Anna, and Jason (the husband of the missing woman, Meghan) all take turns giving their firsthand account of the events as they unfold. Ancillary characters with honorable mention: Cathy, the patient friend/flatmate of Rachel and detectives Gaskill and Riley. This book is consistent and I did not want to put it down. I finished it in a few days and there are no plot holes, unanswered questions, no loose ends. The plot twist is fantastic and I did not guess it half way through. Such a good book and apparently Hawkins was a journalist for years before trying her hand at fiction. She's a great writer. Very entertaining book. Rachel's blackout from drinking one evening coincided with the last time Meghan was seen before she was reported missing. Rachel's fear that she had some involvement (her ex, Tom had told her she'd had blackout rages when they were married) made things interesting and created a sense of dread. Rachel slowly pieces together the events of that night and then SHIT GETS REAL. It's pretty hard to write more without major spoilers but this is a stellar book especially for a freshman author. The buzz is well deserved.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dawnna

    She's drowning, Rachel is drowning in her lie she lives everyday as she rides the train and pretends to go to the job she lost. She's drowning in sorrow over her broken marriage and she's drinking heavily. She becomes transfixed on her former home she can see out of the train window and she studies a couple who live a few blocks down. She even has made up names for the couple. I gave this book a good rating because the author quickly pulls you into this dark story making you turn the pages faste She's drowning, Rachel is drowning in her lie she lives everyday as she rides the train and pretends to go to the job she lost. She's drowning in sorrow over her broken marriage and she's drinking heavily. She becomes transfixed on her former home she can see out of the train window and she studies a couple who live a few blocks down. She even has made up names for the couple. I gave this book a good rating because the author quickly pulls you into this dark story making you turn the pages faster and faster, when Rachel sees something strange happen. The strange happening has to do with the couple she has been watching. Rachel's whole world becomes shaken up as she involves herself in the lives of several people and a murder investigation. This is a story of lies, deceit, murder and Rachel who just wanted to be a part of something and more than anything be loved. I found the book to be dark, but gripping.

  30. 4 out of 5

    L.A. Keller

    The description of this book originally didn't interest me but my sister told me to read it, so I did. I'm glad I did, because once I started I couldn't put it down. Written in first person as the three women characters - Megan, Anna and the main character Rachel. As with all of my reviews, I try not to give away too much of the story. I will say that Rachel was hard to like at the beginning of the book. In fact, she was hard to like most of the way through the book. Author Hawkins, adeptly mane The description of this book originally didn't interest me but my sister told me to read it, so I did. I'm glad I did, because once I started I couldn't put it down. Written in first person as the three women characters - Megan, Anna and the main character Rachel. As with all of my reviews, I try not to give away too much of the story. I will say that Rachel was hard to like at the beginning of the book. In fact, she was hard to like most of the way through the book. Author Hawkins, adeptly maneuvers the reader until you are completely committed to a direction and then in the last part of the book, she throws you off course. I love a work of fiction which might be considered as women's literature but also includes mystery and maybe even a murder. When an author surprises me with a fantastic twist, I can't wait to read her next work. I would definitely recommend this book.

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