Wednesday, January 21, 2015
All Aboard with The Girl on the Train: A Quasi Review
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Doubleday Canada (2015)
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I picked up Paula Hawkin's debut novel, The Girl on the Train, on Sunday. I set it back down again only a few hours later. Why? Because I finished it! Once I started reading the book I didn't want to stop -- I just had to find out what would happen next.
One thing that is apparent almost from the opening pages is that the novel's principal narrator, Rachel (aka the girl on the train), is unreliable. Knowing this about Rachel serves to make the story more intriguing, as there is always a question about what is the truth when it comes to her. While Rachel has certainly made some poor decisions in her life, she is nevertheless a sympathetic character.
As is probably obvious from the fact that I read the book in one sitting, The Girl on the Train moves at a very quick pace. The writing drew me into the book, and the plot kept me engaged in it. While I had a pretty significant part of the conclusion figured out by the novel's halfway point, this didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book or dampen my satisfaction at how the story ends.
The Girl on the Train is receiving a lot of attention in the bookish world at the moment. Since I have a tendency to be disappointed by books that garner a lot of hype, I made sure to keep my expectations in check when I started this one. In the case of The Girl on the Train, however, I think the praise it is receiving is warranted -- it is a great book, and I have no hesitation in recommending it to other readers.
On a side note, normally when I prepare a full or partial review for a novel I include the book's synopsis as a key part of my post. I haven't done so in this case because I think the publisher's synopsis gives away too many details of the book that are best left discovered as the story unfolds -- I don't consider these details to be spoilers, but I'm glad I hadn't read the publisher's synopsis prior to starting the book.