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The Girl on the train is the story of Rachel Watson’s life, post-divorce. She is an alcoholic who rides on a train aimlessly. On her way, she travels past an old house where she and her then-husband, Tom used to live. However, there is one house that she waits to see each day. She watches Megan in her seemingly perfect relationship with her husband. Then one day Rachel sees Megan cheating on her husband. So, she decides to communicate with her. However, she has a blackout and is awaken with bruises in her apartment. Soon she learns that Megan is missing and detective Rilly interrogates her since she was seen wandering in the area.

The language used in this book is simple, understandable, and subtle which makes the readers get interested in reading the book. The themes of the novel are that of gaslighting, manipulation through questioning or validating a person’s sanity as the three women are abused by the men in their lives. It also deals with a very strong theme that some things are not always what they seem to be. In some respect, the novel is a connectional mystery.

Rachel Watson is the titular girl on the train and novel’s protagonist. She is complicated and an invaluable character. She is a divorced and deeply depressed person because of her impotence and failed marriage. Megan Hipwell is a young, sensitive woman with a dark past. Megan is not at all the model wife that Rachel imagines her to be. Megan begins dwelling into the depth of her trauma of losing her baby. Anna Watson is threatened by Tom’s ex-wife for calling and texting Tom all the time. She fails to see the unearthed trauma and pain in Rachel’s odd behavior and views her as a loser. Tom Watson disguises himself as a loving husband but in reality, he is a liar, cheater, murderer, and antagonist of the novel.

The Girl on the Train is a 2015 psychological thriller novel by Paula Hawkins. The novel debuted in the number one spot on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 list dated 1 February 2015, and remained in the top position for 13 consecutive weeks. In January 2016, it became the number 1 best seller again for two weeks. The book has also sold 15 million copies around the world. The readers of this book loved it warm-heartedly. The author did a really great job with the three character’s voices. It deals with powerful themes all the while weaving the story into a heart wrenching tale of obsession and madness. One cannot help but get reeled into the chaos of it all, questioning oneself at times of who is what, and whether everything is as it is.

There is no need of any suggestions for this novel as it is one of its kind. The writing is quite masterful as the writer gives away only enough with each chapter. Hence, this novel is perfectly paced.

About Simran Saluja

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