Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Girl On the Train is set in modern day London and is told by three different women’s perspectives. The main character, Rachel, is going through a hard time in in her life and has to face seeing her past every time the train she is on passes by the home she used to share with her husband. Not only does she pass her old home, but she passes the neighbors as well. There is one couple she looks forward to seeing every day and even goes so far as to create make-believe lives for them. I will stop my summary there because I am afraid I will spoil the novel if I say anymore.
“Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis.”
This novel had me hooked right from the get-go. Every chapter left me hanging and begging to know more. The chapters are titled as dates and if it is the morning or evening along with which woman is the speaker. That got a little confusing when I stopped reading and then couldn’t remember whose point of view I was currently experiencing when I picked it back up. That is only a minor issue though, because this is one of those novels you can read in one sitting because it is that good. Hawkins is a great writer and includes sentences like the one stated above that are just so wonderfully written. There is another one on page 173 of the large print edition I borrowed from the Mendon Public Library that stopped me in my tracks and made me think, “Man, she’s good.” Every detail in the novel works perfectly and every character is their “own” character with different personalities, looks, etcetera. Rachel has a drinking problem that is handled very well throughout the story. It does not take over but is an underlying issue that surfaces with the perfect amount of consistency. That is just another example of how clever Hawkins is.
I have been craving a really good novel to read and The Girl On the Train did it for me. The novel served as evidence that Hawkins is a very talented writer and I hope that she comes out with another novel soon.