We’ve all done it, stared out a car/ bus/ train window at people and made up a little story about their lives in our head. It’s a great way to pass the time, but for Rachel Watson it turned into an obsessive hobby.
The Girl on the Train was recommended by three of our book club members and was written up in theSkimm… aka it was the clear winner when we took it to a vote in last month’s book club.
So here we go, a quick summary of The Girl on the Train (no spoilers, don’t worry):
With a gin and tonic in one hand, Rachel Watson rides the train to and from Euston (London) every day just to keep deceiving her roommate into thinking she has a job (although she was fired months ago for getting plastered at client lunch meeting).
To add insult to injury, she still can’t get over her ex-husband (still has his last name and it’s been years since it ended) who has a younger, prettier wife and a new baby girl (that Rachel could never have).
Every day on her fake train ride into work, she passes a house with a husband and wife. Always happy, always together on their balcony enjoying the weather and each other. Rachel makes up a little story in her head; names, occupations, daily stories for what they are up to for the day. “Jess and Jason” are the ideal, perfect couple living a happy life. A life that Rachel only dreams about now.
The only thing she has going for her in her life (she feels) is this make-believe family… and alcohol. After years of continually getting plastered at bars, showing up on her ex-husbands doorstep blackout, and not remembering anything from the night before, she had made a name for herself as non-reliable.
What happens when you see something and need to report it to the police, but (1) You were drunk so you don’t remember the full story and… (2) you’re labeled as an un-reliable source? Nothing happens. You’re ignored and anything you say is assumed to be another drunken, made-up story. But what happens if what you are trying to say and alert people to is the dangerous truth?
From here, the thriller begins as you follow Rachel trying to figure out the mysteries and lies, trying to battle her own demons (alcohol and self-pity in my opinion), and finally fighting to remember her scared past.
Everyone is comparing this book to Gone Girl, I have to admit that I did too. I loved this suspenseful read! And although the last chapter became a bit predictable, it didn’t bother me one bit because the rest was amazing.
The character development, twisted plot lines and secrets, and missing components of the always changing lies kept me at the edge of my seat trying to get one step ahead.
Wine club, aka book club, is tomorrow (I’m making funfetti cupcakes!) and I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thought of it! We are going to use these discussion questions to kick off the talk, but we usually end up making our own as the evening progresses.
What did you think of The Girl on the Train? Also, what are you reading for your book club? I need a recommendation for tomorrow!