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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Book review with an option to purchase novel through Cellars & Chapters Bookstore.


This psychological thriller is a novel that casts a gripping hold on the reader throughout the entire story. It’s easy to take a picturesque marriage and wonder–why don’t I have that? The truth is, no relationship is perfect.

This is the complicated lesson that Rachel Watson comes to terms with. She’s a bitter, binge drinking, divorced woman who watches her fantasy couple from the window of the commuter train to London. She conjures stories and assumptions of their seemingly unspoiled life.

Conveniently from that same train window, she can see the remains of the life she has left behind. Only a few houses down from ‘the perfect couple,’ Scott and Megan, is her old house. Rachel loved that house and still loves the man who lives inside it.

Tom and Rachel may have been described by an onlooking passenger from the train years ago as ‘having it all’ when they were married. Now Tom is married to Anna. They live in that house replicating the life Rachel once had, except Tom and Anna’s new life includes a baby. Something Rachel never had. She is filled with jealousy and envy as she watches from the train. Day after day, she fills that void of regret with alcohol while she rides home to her empty life.

Rachel finds herself binge drinking (again) on the train. She blacks out but has a distinctive intuitive sense that something bad happened. There is evidence of that found the next morning when she is hungover.

Later it is revealed that Megan is missing. Rachel becomes obsessed, not only with wanting to understand what happened to herself that night–but with Megan. She is determined to find the truth at all costs. Not just for Megan, her fantasy of perfection, but for everyone involved. The truth that is found could not stay buried for long.


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