The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

book-coverPsychological thrillers are slowly becoming one of my favourite books to settle down in bed with. The Girl on the Train was no exception. There are some comparisons to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, however I tend to disagree with that. The Kind Worth Killing had more similarities to Gone Girl than this one had. I have a tendency to like novels with unlikeable characters and none of the characters in The Girl on the Train are likeable.

Rachel is the girl on the train. She has lost her husband to another woman, during a difficult time in her life: when she was struggling with alcohol abuse, a direct result of infertility issues.  Struggling to get pregnant took its toll on Rachel and she fell into a depression, while at the same time her husband started an affair with another woman, of whom Rachel found out about by mistake.

Having lost her job and not wanting her house mate to find out about it, Rachel took the train into London every day, pretending that she is going to work. While on the train, Rachel observes a couple a few houses down from her previous home that is the picture of marital bliss. Rachel’s intoxication allows her mind to make up illusions about the couple, a lot of which she believes, until she saw the woman, Megan, kissing another man. Rachel becomes enraged as this opens some of her own wounds, ones that never really closed.

When news hits that Megan has gone missing, Rachel fears the worst. She woke up at home the morning after Megan’s disappearance covered in blood and bruises and she is sure that she saw something, or even worse; did something. Despite fearing that she might be involved, she also takes it upon herself to inform Megan’s husband of his wife’s affair, thinking that the man might have something to do with her disappearance.

Megan is another unlikeable character, because apart from the affair(s) she had, she has her own faults and also many things about her that would irritate the reader. There is also Anna, Rachel’s ex-husband’s wife. I found her to be the most unlikeable woman in the story, but most readers might disagree with me. She is such a callous woman, who shows no remorse for the role she played in Rachel’s downwards spiral, however Anna is the one whose actions surprised me the most in the story. I never saw what she did in the ending coming.

There were many twists and turns, most were a bit predictable that I saw coming, but The Girl on the Train still remains a clever thriller. It’s well-paced and at some points thrilling that keeps your turning the pages. It’s filled with hate, paranoia, blind love and most of all: betrayal. It’s worth a read, I’d say.



When I saw that Emily Blunt plays the lead role in the movie, I knew I had to see it, because I absolutely love her and I had the book, so why not? I read the book as quickly as I could find the time and looked forward to the movie so much. I finally saw it last night and although I find Emily played Rachel really well, I wasn’t too impressed with the movie. There just wasn’t enough tension.

What did you think of the book? And the movie?

Book cover source | Movie poster source

  • Isi

    I also read it but I didn’t like it that much in the end… I expected something else, I guess.
    Perhaps you think there is no tension in the film because you read the book just before go and watch it. I find most films based on books not-that-good lately…

    • I always prefer reading the book before I go and watch the film. I did like the book, but not as much as some. I think it’s a good thriller. Have you seen the movie?

  • Jennine G.

    Definitely more tension in the book than the movie. But overall I thought it was okay. Loved the book.

    • Same here, Jennine. I still enjoyed the movie and thought Emily played her role really well, but the book was better.

  • I liked the book, but not as much as a lot of other people. I agree that it was too predictable. The movie – I didn’t like.

    • I liked the book too. It was a good thriller, but based on the rave reviews I’ve heard from others, I expected a little more.

  • Ciska van der Lans

    I was not overly impressed by the book either. It was an okay read but there were some loose ends that were to obvious. I have not seen the movie yet so I am curious about that one still.

    • You’d think I’d know by now that most often a book that’s overhyped always isn’t as good as everyone makes it!

      I hope you’ll see the movie. Let me know what you think

  • Lisa Sheppard

    Oh yeah, this one is filled with unlikable characters! It dragged in places for me but I ended up liking it quite a lot.

  • Nishita

    I liked this book a lot too. It was really suspenseful. I love Emily Blunt and was looking forward to catching the movie. Too bad it disappoints.

    • I might watch the film again, just for the sake of it. Thanks for stopping by, Nishita!