Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Girl on the Train

Like the London commuter train at the center of Paula Hawkins' novel, The Girl on the Train, this sophisticated 'who-done-it' story moves inexorably forward from page one, picking up speed in a smooth and steady manner as the scenery passes - seeming the same scenery every day, the reliable row of houses, the glimpses of their occupants, the seemingly deserted field, yet with that odd, mildly unsettling little clump of old clothing tucked among the clumps of grass. Everything both is and is not what it seems. It is, from afar, what we imagine it to be, yet something very different on close inspection.

The Girl on the Train is a story of addiction - addiction to alcohol, addiction to sex, addiction to a woman and addiction to a man, addiction to oneself, addiction to the past, and addiction to fantasies of the good mate, the good marriage, to tales of life as it should be.

Hawkins tells her story through the alternating viewpoints of a handful of characters, each one flawed, each one real, each one bringing her own strengths and her own weaknesses into the revelation of the mystery at hand.

And, given the surprise ending, I will say no more - except that I found myself addicted to these pages 😅

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