Rachel is a very observant passenger on the train that trudges along to London – Euston to Ashbury every morning and back home in the afternoon. A journey meant to last 50 minutes but rarely does as it scrabbles along past warehouses, water towers, bridges, sheds and modest Victorian houses. She observes Jess and Jason, on every trip on Blenheim road. She lived there for five years, four doors down from them at twenty-three. She does not know their actual names so she gave him one just because he looked like a Jason and named her Jess just because it sounded good with Jason.

Megan sits lazily as she watches the train as it takes the bend and rumbles to a stop couple hundred meters from the house. She sometimes may not see the train going past but she likes to listen out for it. She often just uses her imagination to transport her to different parts of the world with her eyes closed feeling the sun on her lids.

Every so often she finds herself back in Holkham in her daydreams especially on sun filled days, like these. In the evening the train returns commuting those from work back home. She hears a scream one such evening and a few doors up it seemed like, a woman was crying, possibly both of them that were there and the baby was howling too. The one that was screaming took the baby and went back into the house while the other seemed to walk around in circles on the lawn. Megan ends up babysitting for the couple, Anna, and Tom. Her husband Scott seemed pleased with this.

One day in July 2013 Rachel looks at Jason and Jess’ house as the train passes by in the morning. To her dismay, she sees that it is not Jason that Jess embraced in a romantic kiss.

Rachel’s roommate, Cathy always cleans on a Saturday morning. Rachel is an alcoholic who leaves on the train every morning and returns home every evening with the working commuters, in the attempt in covering her lies to Cathy that she is working. It was weekend and on Saturdays Cathy religiously cleans their flat and that particular Saturday she did not leave the flat like she mostly did after cleaning. Rachel was desperate for a drink. Rachel leaves to go see Jason; well that is what she anticipated she would do, to possibly inform him of his cheating wife. Many drinks after landing in Ashbury, on her return trip home she decides to jump off at Witney, the place she lived in with her husband, Tom for five years.

She gets up next morning, the base of her throat is sore and she has difficulty swallowing her own saliva, her fingernails are filthy, inside of her mouth hurts and she gets a dry metallic taste. Her head was throbbing and light hurts her eye. She felt a tender lump on her head and her hair was knotted in blood. Something happened last night. Something very bad has happened. She heard screaming and shouting in her head and voices, there were voices. She cannot remember! She then finds out that Megan (whom she named Jess) is missing.

I cannot say I loved the book, but it was interestingly written yet could have been better written in my opinion. It definitely had the psychological thriller aspect to it which was eminent. The story was written in three points of view, Rachel, Megan and Anna, which had the element of unreliable narration in the first point of view. I did actually enjoy the beginning of it as the diary type of writing was sort of appealing. I think possibly if you read Gone Girl then you may get a bit bored of this style of writing once you get to a quarter of the story. The plot was fairly good and it maintained its suspense to the very end, which was one of the reasons I could not put the book down but not good enough reasons, which I cannot completely understand, why it remained number one bestseller in New York Times for 13 consecutive weeks.

This book has been turned into a movie and is one of the reasons I picked it up to read as I always like reading the books before watching the movie or TV series as the books are so much more rich in content and culture. I am now waiting to watch the movie to see if the movie is any different from the book. In most cases, we watch the movies to see if the movie has done justice to the book but in this case, it is whether the book does justice to the movie. Possibly another ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ hopeful thinking, where you have fingers crossed that the movie is more likely to be better as the writing was not all that glorious to write home about.

Perhaps it would be completely unfair to compare this book with Fifty Shades of Grey as that was so poorly written, I cried. Considering I did not cry out of a poorly written book in this case, I do have some faith that The Girl on The Train movie will be better than Fifty Shades of Grey movie and altogether The Girl on the Train will definitely take win, but I guess anything over Fifty Shades of Grey would take win, I suppose. Should I really have all that much faith though, since Rotten Tomatoes gave it 44% and IMDB gave it 6.5/10?



Pragashnie Naidoo