Written in first person from the perspectives of three different women, The Girl on the Train maintains intensity throughout the tale. I like the style in which it is written, jumping from Rachel to Megan, back to Rachel, and then, eventually, to Anna. It turns out that all three of the women have something in common.
Rachel’s part of the story takes place in current time, while Megan’s starts up about a year before. Rachel was once married to Tom, but they got divorced, partly because Rachel started drinking when she couldn’t get pregnant, and then Tom began having an affair with Anna, the woman to whom he is now married. Tom and Anna live in the same house that he and Rachel lived in.
Rachel lives with her “friend” Cathy. She is currently unemployed, although Cathy does not know this. She lost her job because of her drinking problem. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that she is a “black out” drinker.
Even though she has no job, Rachel continues to put up appearances by taking the train into town every morning. The train passes the house in which she used to live. It also passes Megan’s house, and Rachel watches Megan and her husband, Scott (although she doesn’t know their names and calls them “Jason and Jess” as she watches them), every day.
One day, she sees “Jess” intimately kissing a man who is not “Jason.” This upsets her terribly. So much so that, one night, after having too much to drink, she goes to that neighborhood, planning to confront the couple about this. But she blacks out. She wakes up, in her own bed, with blood everywhere and a nasty bump on her head. She remembers nothing of the night before.
Shortly after, the news hits. Megan Hipwell (Rachel’s “Jess”) is missing.
That’s all I will divulge in this review, as going any further would be considered spoiling. The rest of the story is a whirlwind of deceit, plot twists, and more, as Rachel gets way more involved in things than she should. It all comes to an intense finale when we finally find out what has happened.
I will say that I figured out who did it, but only shortly before that truth was revealed in the story. Paula Hawkins keeps us guessing all the way through this thriller.
I haven’t seen the movie, yet, but am looking forward to seeing how it compares to the book.