To say that Rachael's world has crumbled around her would be a bit of an understatement. Because of her alcoholism she is recently divorced and recently unemployed. Even though she is unemployed, Rachael keeps her routine of taking the train into the city every morning and has developed a bit of obsession centered around a couple that live along her route. Their home backs up to the tracks and have a morning routine that makes them visible to anybody riding the train, including Rachael. Rachael has even nicknamed them "Jessica and Jason" and has developed this fantasy of what their life is like together. One morning that fantasy is shattered when Rachael sees "Jess" kissing another man. And then the next Monday "Jess" is in the papers as missing. Rachael knows she was in the neighborhood Saturday night because that is where her ex-husband lives with his new wife and daughter, but Rachael can't remember anything about that night. Including why she woke up covered in blood. Rachael is desperate to piece together what happened that night and what happened to "Jess", but what will she do when she finds out the truth?
I am not sure if there is a woman alive that hasn't gone a little bit crazy after a bad breakup, but Rachael takes it to a whole different level. She is obsessed with her ex-husband and the life he is living with his new wife, the life that Rachael believes she was meant to live. The pain is even magnified because her ex cheated on her with his new wife before they were even divorced. Before Rachael even knew there were problems in their marriage. Some of the things that Rachael does are definitely cringe-worthy (like breaking into their house and walking out with the baby) and make it really hard to feel empathy for her, let alone like her. The way she inserts herself in the middle of the investigation and even with "Jason" - well, it makes you really question her motives. It makes you wonder if she really did have something to do with "Jessica's" disappearance. But, as the book goes on Rachael does redeem herself by seeking help. She doesn't intend to really seek help, it just works out that way and in my eyes it is redeeming. She begins to really fight the disease of alcoholism. The end was a bit of a surprise, but it seemed to take a long time to get there and I was almost relieved to have the book end.
Bottom line - while The Girl on the Train has been the hit of the year so far, I didn't love it. I thought that while the ending was not what I expected, it was anti-climatic and fell short. It is a good read for a rainy afternoon, but it isn't going to make my "Best of" list and I had high expectations that it would.
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
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- Pages: 336
- Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 1/13/2015
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