The Girl on the Train – What a sad collection of characters. It had my undivided attention…

gilrTrin“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.”

This story is told in three different voices – Megan, Rachel and Anna have their own chapters which overlap each other throughout the book. As I was reading it I thought of a line in Mr. and Mrs. Smith; Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are driving and confessing all the things they have made up. Brad Pitt (who gives some great expressive looks) exclaims “Web of lies!” and is clearly exasperated.

I am reading these storylines from different perspectives and that’s when I said it, aloud – web of lies! Rachel is the girl on the train. She rides this train five days a week, taking the same route and seeing the same buildings and sights. As the train makes a daily regular stop, Rachel looks toward a group of housing and watches a married couple. She starts making up things about their lives, imagining the sort of work they do, what their relationship is like. Rachel is an alcoholic, this much is clear from the beginning where she is constanting cracking open bottles of wine and premixed gin and tonics.

This quote is in one of Rachel’s chapters, her true feelings about herself. Very sad.

“I felt isolated in my misery. I became lonely so I drank a bit, and then a bit more, and then I became lonelier, because no one likes being around a drunk. I lost and I drank and I drank and I lost. I liked my job, but I didn’t have a glittering career, and even if I had, let’s be honest: women are still only valued for two things – their looks and their role as mothers. I’m not beautiful, and I can’t have kids, so what does that make me? Worthless.”

Anna and Megan live in the housing across from the train tracks. They can see the train as it stops and have no idea Rachel is staring out toward them. They have their own screwed storyline but it all comes together slowly. They all come together slowly and the end has a surprising twist. It’s difficult to reveal too much about this plot because there are too many spoilers so….that’s all I have to say. In spite of these characters not being particularly likeable, I will read more by Paula Hawkins. There is a difference between not relating ot a character and their actions and being intrigued.

There is constant mention of alcohol and tea while there is only one mention of food in this thriller. It’s not a foodie book so that doesn’t surprise me but here it is nonetheless.

“I tried to think back to earlier in the evening, to where the argument started. We were having such a good time. I’d done grilled prawns with lots of chilli and coriander, and we were drinking this delicious Chen Blanc that he’d been given by a grateful client. We were out on the patio, listening to the Killers and Kings of Lean, albums we used to play when we first got together.”

I didn’t make a shrimp with chilli but I did make a scampi with lots of butter and garlic.

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And a gin and tonic would be absolutely wonderful but alas, we are out of Hendricks gin and I settled on a vodka tonic.



Paula Hawkins website

Adding my review to Goodreads, The British Book Challenge, Joy’s British Isles Friday and Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking Series.

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Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


19 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train – What a sad collection of characters. It had my undivided attention…

  1. The Girl on The Train worked well for me, too. I didn’t like the characters but I got them and that was enough. Also, I loved the trains in England, so that helped, too! Thanks for linking up to British Isles Friday!


    • To be honest, I thought about putting it down after 2 chapters & it wasn’t because I was bored, just so many in my to-read pile & this was sad.
      Then I was suddenly invested.


  2. After a bad experience with gin as a teen (I KNOW), I much prefer vodka tonics. 😉 The shrimp scampi looks delicious but the only thing that I remembered about that paragraph was the music they were listening to!

    I think the women in the book were too busy not minding their own business to properly eat. 😉 But the thing that struck me the most–do they really sell gin and tonics in cans in the UK? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that here. LOL!


    • Trish, I don’t remember if they sell the G&T in cans but I’ll bet they do. We can get ore-mixed margaritas & other drinks here. They aren’t as good as fresh though.


    • I hope you like it, Katherine, and I will be curious to know how you like the audio version.
      Sapphire gin does have Christmas tree notes but Hendricks gin is smoother with cucumber.


  3. Pingback: Weetabix #BriFri #WeekendCooking | Joy's Book Blog

  4. Pingback: Wrap-up of the British Book Challenge for 2015 | Novel Meals

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