Book recommendation: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins


Have you figured out yet that I tend to be pretty slow to read really popular books? This isn’t on purpose, but it does seem to happen fairly often. Gone Girl, the Percy Jackson series, On Writing… and those are just a few of my more recent late-to-the-party reads.

I doubt my streak is going to end any time soon. It certainly didn’t when it came to today’s recommendation: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins.

Every day, twice a day, Rachel spends her train ride staring out the window. She watches the houses passing by, waiting for her chance to peek into the windows of one in particular. It’s home to a couple Rachel knows intimately, though she’s never actually met them. But it only takes one peek, one glimpse of a shocking scene, for one of Rachel’s train rides to turn her life upside down.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about this novel: The thrilling mystery behind what’s going on is going to grab hold of you and not let go. That’s what it did for me, anyway.

It started with those two little paragraphs preceding the actual chapters. They hooked me right from the start, and the little diary-like passages that make up the novel only reeled me in further. Truly, it was the plot that kept me reading, more than anything else.

Goodreads summary

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

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?

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