Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins


girl on the trainRachel’s life is in pieces. Her husband cheated on then left her, she lost her job because she’s developed quite an alcohol addiction, and her roommate wants her out immediately. She spends all of her time riding the commuter train she used to take back when she was still employed. Speeding by suburbia, Rachel becomes obsessed with a couple whom she often sees from the train window. They live just a few houses down from her ex-husband. She’s created elaborate stories for their lives and goes so far as to name them Jess and Jason. One night, while on a spectacular bender, Rachel gets off the train near her old home. What she sees and how she obtained some pretty serious injuries, she can’t recall the next morning. This, of course, has happened to her before, but this time a girl has gone missing—and it’s her Jess. Does Rachel know what happened to Jess deep in her subconscious? Will the police take her report seriously even if she does happen to remember something?

A few months back EVERYONE had to read Girl on the Train. The waiting list for this thriller was massive so I avoided it and made no move to secure a copy. The hype has died down now and I finally got me a copy. I read it in two days and I can definitely see why everyone was so excited about it. After Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn became a bestseller, readers were hungry for another dark and twisty mystery. Here it is. Unreliable narrators are one of my favorite literary devices and Rachel makes an excellent anti-hero. I recommend this title wholeheartedly.

Check the PPLC Catalog for The Girl on the Train.

2 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

  1. Yes, this was an interesting literary ride, especially thanks to the unreliable narrator. Have you read E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, we haven’t – though we enjoy the mystery of the unreliable narrator. Pat Rothfuss uses it in “The Name of the Wind” and “Wise Man’s Fear”, one of our favorite series. We’ll have to check it out!

      Edit: Never mind, we have indeed read We Were Liars and loved that, too. And you’re right, these two books are very similar with their unreliable narrators.


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