“let’s be honest: women are still only really valued for two things—their looks and their role as mothers.”
― Paula Hawkins,
Rachel Watson is not your typical protagonist. In fact, she comes across as a girl with a low self-esteem and a drinking problem. She could get angry, violent and destructive too, to the point where she seldom remembers anything that ensues.
So, why am I including her in this series of mine?
This is because, The Girl on the Train was a book I enjoyed reading, and Rachel’s characterization with all her weirdness, made the book what it is. It is Rachel and her hyper active imagination that made The Girl on The Train worth a read! Thirty-two year old Rachel is just out of an abusive marriage. Her ex-husband Tom leaves her for another woman –Anna. With her drinking problem, Rachel loses her job and, frustrated she frequently harasses Tom, though she seldom has any memory of it. Tom is now married to Anna and has a daughter Evie.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night, and as her train slows down daily, passing her old house, she watches Tom, Anna, and Evie. Every day it’s the same route, moving past cozy suburban homes, and stopping at the signal that allows her to catch a glimpse of another couple, a few houses away. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not like the life she had recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough for everything to change. Soon she is deeply entangled, in her own life as well as in the lives of many others.
I wouldn’t want to divulge too much on the plot, but similar to other thrillers its best for readers to dive in on their own. As much as she has been portrayed as being weird and whacky, Rachel Watson also comes across as a person who is hell bent upon being helpful. She lends a ear to Scott, when his wife Megan disappears. Scott and Megan are the couple she’s been watching from the train every day.
What clicked in the book is that element of suspense the narration held within it all along. Yes, indeed towards the end the book did get predictable, but otherwise, it did have the right amount of clues thrown in at the right time. The Girl on the Train and the Watson girl worked for me.
This post is a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I write about twenty six women characters from books, who have left an impact on me. You can read the previous posts here- Women in Books
The book is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.