I was about to embark on my first ever solo retreat, a short cruise to Mexico, and I hadn’t yet acquired my mandatory beach reading.
I went to the nearest Barnes and Noble and strolled though the aisles looking for a good thriller.
The Girl on the Train was on one of those display tables. I picked it up, read the knack, skimmed the first few pages and decided it would do for a quick read.
And overall, I really liked it.
People make comparisons to gone girl but I didn’t really see that many similarities between the two stories.
Without summarizing the book, I’ll talk briefly about what I liked about it.
First I noticed the POV. You don’t read many (or at least I haven’t read many) thrillers written in the first person POV. The second POV choice I found interesting was that, while there were several narrators, they were all women. Score.
Speaking of narrators, this book definitely had the whole unreliable narrator thing going on. But not because of out and out lies as with Gone Girl. This was because there were so many gaping holes in the primary narrators memory, details upon details that she just couldn’t recollect. That was an interesting choice. It meant that many of the novel’s event were a mystery to her as well as to us.
Another really interesting choice was the choice to not have real chapters. The book is instead divided into scenes by chronology and the time is not always linear. This definitely gives the feel of moving quickly through the story and sets a delightful pace.
The main narrator herself wasn’t the most likable at least not to me. But that’s fine. I don’t have to like the protagonist as long as he or she is interesting and I can find a reason to root for them anyway. Because as much as I didn’t care for her, I couldn’t stand the villain, Tom, her ex husband.
I’m always fascinated by themes of infidelity and lying so I was enthralled in that respect. Of course gone girl dealt with the same themes.
The book overall was an almost voyeuristic experience. I felt like a nosy neighbor and I enjoyed that. We all have some kind of voyeuristic tendencies in the era of reality TV. It was like reading a celebrity smut magazine in novel form.