The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I read this bestselling psychological thriller yesterday evening and couldn’t help but deeply sigh.
I’ll admit I have the habit of storing up classics and bestsellers for future times when I’ll need an amazing read. So, I was reading My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren and the heroine, a criminology professor, mentioned the book while trying to remind her caller about their past movie date. It made me realise I have this book!
I began reading this ebook narrated in first person by unreliable Rachel, Megan and Anna. A spell-binding, emotional and delightful read. I didn’t drop the book until I finished it 4 hours later. The spectacular end was worth it! Yay Rachel!
I love that the book truthfully depicts infertility, infidelity, mental health care, psychological and emotional abuse, gaslighting partners, alcoholism, crime and dangers of assumptions. This novel, its plot twists and revelations, Rachael’s growth all made me think of some of my experiences with blackouts, gaslighting partners and effects of infertility to a marriage.
The plot revolves around Rachel Watson an alcoholic, downtrodden divorcée who takes the same commuter train into London every day, despite having being unemployed for months.
What she sees on these gin-fuelled, tear-streaked journeys, as her train winds its way through a London suburb, draws her into the disappearance of one of the residents she regularly watches, an uncomfortable relationship with her ex-husband’s new partner and a grisly murder investigation.
It’s a slow-building, suspense-wrapped plot that takes a peek at the dark reality of suburbia, as told from the point of view of three, at times startlingly unhinged, women.
This book made me grateful I haven’t had my trauma-induced blackouts taken advantage of by my loved ones. I’m also grateful I ended my first toxic relationship years ago. I don’t take my Stepdad’s intervention for granted. He noticed how anxious and unsure I was becoming in the relationship with a guy who always criticized me and my efforts amongst other hurtful things. I stayed strong in the relationship. But after the break up I had to heal the unnoticed hurt to my esteem and trust in others.
I think that’s why I completed the book. To know if Rachel would pull herself together, garner some self worth, stop relapsing with alcohol, remember how she acted when she has blackouts. We learn a lot more about suburban London life, Megan and her affairs, unstable Rachel fighting alcoholism, psychological and emotional abuse by male spouses (Scott, Megan’s husband and Tom), kindness, lying Tom, frightened Anna and some much more. Some new words were added to my vocabulary. I enjoyed the way the narrators filled in the plot from different timelines.
Life Lessons from The Girl on the Train
- Get professional psychological help when getting depression, anxiety, blackouts and other forms of disorders from traumatic experiences. This will provide in depth, insight into your mental and emotional well-being. It usually isn’t enough to speak with loved ones.
- Heal yourself. Dont help others when broken. It will drain you and likely hurt them too.
- Take responsibility for your actions in other people’s lives. You might not know the gravity of damage your denial, refusal to apologise, lies are causing.
- Sometimes staying away from source of trauma isn’t the best. Lean into your emotions. They hardly lie even when the brain doesn’t remember. Self reflection is so powerful. Assess your emotions vis-a-vis your actions.
- Be very careful how you react in anger. Don’t say things you’ll regret or harm others. Control yourself.
- You don’t own another human being. I always say a person should never feel entitled to another person’s self, polite anger, blind trust or respect because they love them.
- If you are saying too many sorrys in a relationship you and your partner need to evaluate.
- Our actions are interpreted by people’s insecurities, assumptions and perspectives.
- Strangers are watching you live your life from afar.
It was published by 13 January 2015 by Riverhead Books in US, 15 January 2015 by Doubleday in UK. This bestseller has a same named movie adaptation directed by Tate Taylor starring Emily Blunt released 7 October, 2016.