Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. 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 offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
I usually have no interest in Thriller type books, but I did promise myself that this year I was going to try to be more eclectic with my reading taste and try new things and I am so glad I did. My favorite book this year has been Weird Girl, but sorry Weird Girl, The Girl on The Train has taken your crown. This is by far the best stand alone book I have read in a while and even though I do love to have a good laugh and rip books apart, I have read many many great books. From the character development, to the story’s flow, it was amazing.
Rachel, Rachel, Rachel…so many problems, so little time to discuss them in. I will say that instantly I liked her. There was something gritty about her… raw. She was a real person with real problems and I wouldn’t say she was exactly unapologetic, but she knew who she was and she knew she had issues (and even knew what they were) and didn’t delude herself into thinking otherwise. No matter how many times people tried to get her down, she was stubborn and never gave up. Even if she didn’t know exactly why she was feeling what she was feeling, she trusted her gut which could (and did) put her in some very bad situations. There were times (many times), that I wanted to bang my head against a wall because she made so many stupid choices. At one point, I was in literal shock that someone could be so irresponsible and clueless. But I also had to keep in mind that she was battling with her mental health and as things went on, we got to see her begin (because let’s face it, the woman had a lot of work ahead of her) to sort herself out.
Now Megan, another woman who made a lot a bad decisions and I mean a lot. I did not agree with most of what she did I mean, just because you are in pain, it doesn’t give you the right to hurt other people…but, to my surprise, I didn’t hate her. Like Rachel, she was a person who was struggling with her mental health and there is no shame in that. Also like Rachel, she was woman who knew exactly who she was. She didn’t try to justify her actions, not even to herself, which is very rare for a person to do. So many of us live our lives convincing ourselves that no matter what we do, there is a good reason and because of that, we cannot be held responsible. Not Megan, she knew that her decisions were wrong and she knew that no matter what she was feeling on the inside, there was absolutely no excuse for making them. I have a hard time not respecting someone who can be so self aware and not make excuses for themselves.
Anna, on the other hand, I did hate. Even at the end of the book I still hated her. I thought Rachel was clueless, but that doesn’t even compare to Anna. She was the most blind, delusional person in this story and that’s saying a lot because these people were a mess. She was also selfish and narcissistic, which I guess could also be said for Rachel and Megan, but again, at least they knew it. Anna just had this idea that she was so much better than everyone else. She thought she was better than “poor fat Rachel”, she thought she was better than Megan because… well, she didn’t even have a reason she was just a bitch. The funny thing is, Anna was the worst of them all. She lived in this psychosis like world where everyone around her was just so jealous of her perfect life with her perfect husband and perfect child.
All of the men in this book were utterly useless. It really reminded me how right Stone Cold Steve Austin was when he said DTA: DON’T TRUST ANYBODY. You see what type of man Tom is from the beginning. Scott was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I guess you could say the same for both Tom and Kamal as well. But then again, when I look back, I just think Kamal was an unprofessional tool, an amateur of sorts. These are the men our mothers warned us about…Rat bastards.
At any rate, I loved the way the story flowed and how the three women were connected. Hmm, well I guess I should say how the two women were connected. Although they were both two very different people, Rachel and Megan had so much in common and that was apparent within the first two chapters. Once you get to know them even more, you will see just how similar they are and they don’t even know it. It wasn’t something superficial and obvious which I appreciated. The only connection Anna really had with these women were the people they were in contact with. Anna was a one dimensional person (unfortunately there are so many people like this in real life), while the other women had layers and you all know how much I love people with layers we get to peel back like an onion.
I loved this book and I recommend it to anyone. No matter which genre you may prefer, you will find someone in the book to connect with and something you like. I give this book 5 Stars.