Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins

I believe it’d be a fair statement to say majority of us, if not all of us, have had this sensation before, this tickling feeling at the back of your head: you’re being watched.

Rachel is an unemployed drunk, taking the same train day in and day out to keep up with the old appearances. As it comes to a stop every day to wait at the same signal point, she observes the couple through the window, which she nicknamed “Jess and Jason”, and their house. One day, when she sees something out of the ordinary, Rachel seizes the opportunity to finally join their life and become a part of it for real, rather than just in her imagination.

‘The Girl on the Train’ is one of those books I finished, but will not be going back to. The story has been developing extremely slowly from the start and it wasn’t a particularly amazing thriller/mystery at all. It’s easy to predict who the villains are and there wasn’t a sense of wonder or excitement from having to figure it out, as the narrative progresses.


Characters are lacking. Rachel is a heavily flawed person, battling (but not really trying to) her demons and outside of that, she doesn’t have much to offer. It felt as if there wasn’t anything else to her apart from her flaws and because they weren’t getting resolved or progressing, the character development was non existent. I couldn’t connect with any one of them.

The change of the narrative between different timelines and point of views was confusing. I understand why it was introduced but due to the poor execution, it just causes more chaos than necessary.

There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.

Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

I don’t understand the hype around this novel, but perhaps it just wasn’t meant for me, what did you think of it? Too much petty drama and second hand embarrassment caused by Rachel and not enough mystery in this mystery novel.

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