Published By: Riverhead Books, an Imprint of Penguin Random House January 13, 2015
Length: 336 pages
Source: E galley via Edelweiss with the publishers permission in consideration of an honest review.
Rachel rides the train in and out of London everyday. She spends much time looking out the window, and she often invents stories to go along with the sights and people she sees. Her mother once told her she had an overactive imagination, an opinion her ex-husband Tom also held. Rachel sees a lovely couple in their home as the train stops in the same place daily. She’s nicknamed them Jess and Jason, and she imagines their near perfect world as they have coffee, and kiss as she views them from the train.
One day Rachel sees something that upsets her so much she no longer wants to see the couple she’s come to enjoy watching. When something happens Rachel feels she’s got to share what she knows with the police. Her story makes her sound silly, as if she’s been spying on people but she knows something isn’t right, only she can’t remember everything, and she worries that she may have played a larger part in a very bad thing. Exactly where was Rachel on that Saturday night?
The story of Rachel goes much farther than just her riding the train. Rachel’s divorce and inability to have a child have left her depressed and she seeks comfort in drinking. Two years after her divorce she is still shattered as she thinks of Tom and his new wife and daughter living in her dream house. She passes their house too on the train…just a few doors down from Jess and Jason.
In this captivating psychological thriller the story is told by Rachel, Megan and Anna. Megan is the real woman behind the make believe Jess, and Anna is her ex-husband’s new wife. Anna was the woman Tom had an affair with, and then divorced Rachel to move Anna into his house. These three women tell their own story of how their lives really are. What’s visible from the outside is not always what’s going on behind closed doors.
While reading this book, I began to wonder if there were any reliable narrators, and I trusted no one’s story. It’s the mark of a great author and storyteller who has you flipping pages and wondering which piece can solve this puzzle, or if it’s buried in someone’s lost memory. This is my first great read of 2015 and one I won’t quickly forget. I highly recommend The Girl on the Train. You won’t be sorry.