Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Year of publication: 2015
ISBN: 9781410477767
Pages: 497


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Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?


From the beginning, the narration of the book is very bearable, simple, and has a language that anyone can understand. The story that Hawkins tells us becomes exciting for the reader as the pages turn, to the point of being involved in the mystery and wanting to discover the truth behind it. The story is told through three protagonists and two temporary threads. Each chapter titled with the name of one of the protagonists (Rachel, Anna, and Megan). The story of Rachel and Anna is told in the present moment. And, thanks to them, we know the direction of the investigation. Megan, for her part, presents her story from a few months before *slight spoiler* and little by little we are approaching until the moment of her disappearance. At first, it may take a little while to get used to the changes in time, but gradually everything fits together. The rhythm of the book is quite fast from the beginning, and once you enter the plot, it is tough to get out of it. You never know who to trust, and although we can have a slight idea, the author can surprise us until the end. Reading this book, I felt like when I watch a thriller movie. It entertained me, it wasn’t the best novel or thriller in the world, but I had a good time.

Quotes ❤

“I think of the things her real friends said about her: wonderful, funny, beautiful, warmhearted. Loved. She made a mistake. It happens. We are none of us perfect.” (174-3)

“I like the smell of cigarette smoke. Tom smoked when we first met. I used to have the odd one with him, when we were out drinking or after sex. It’s erotic to me, that smell; it reminds me of being happy.” (273)


© The Hollywood Reporter

About the author.

Paula Hawkins was born on August 26, 1972, in Harare, Zimbabwe. She is a journalist and writer.

Where to get the book? (click on the image)



(Spanish version)


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