Forgive the long preamble… Or SKIP to the actual Review.
It’s rare that I have an entire day to read. It’s even more rare that I read an entire book in one day. But yesterday brought about that perfect storm.
On Friday night we held the first meeting of our new book club. (I was worried it might be cancelled by the unexpected snowfall that took us all by surprise. But several of us really NEEDED that girls night out so Josh warmed up his trusty 4Runner and safely delivered us to Heather’s house.)
We discussed our February selection and then talked at length about what we would read next. I had never even heard of the book we decided on, The Girl on the Train, but a quick glance at the description on Amazon and I was ready to dive in. (The fact that the book was currently OUT oF STOCK at Amazon was a sign of its popularity. And, I later learned that there are 67 “holds” on the 5 copies at our local library.)
When I got home I downloaded a “sample” of the book on my iPad. Let me tell you, whoever figured out the “stopping point” of that sample selection was BRILLIANT! The sample included the first full chapter, plus the first paragraph of chapter two. The stopping point left me hanging so I immediately returned to Amazon and purchased and downloaded the entire book.
I spent the bulk of Saturday inside the head of the three narrators: Rachel, Megan and Anna.
Rachel rides the same train every morning and evening. She’s a rather miserable and lonely individual with a drinking problem. Every day she passes the same houses on her train ride and one house, and it a occupants in particular, capture her attention and her imagination.
Megan is one half of Rachel’s idealized perfect couple. “They’re a match. They’re a set. They’re happy, I can tell. They’re what I used to be, they’re Tom and I five years ago. They are what I lost, they’re everything I want to be.” But Megan and Scott aren’t perfect.
Anna is Rachel’s ex-husband’s new wife. The mother of his new baby daughter. And the occupant of her former dream home. She is also the recipient of Rachel’s drunken, harassing phone calls.
The three perspectives, told from varying points in time, were weaved together in such a compelling fashion. I could hardly put this book down, and yet when I did, I was completely satisfied. I would highly recommend it.
The Girl on the Train is ultimately a suspense story (it’s been compared to Gone GIrl, Rear Window and Gas Light) but it is also a story that reminds us that things are not always what they seem – especially people.