This is the story of Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Rachel looks out the window of her train as she commutes to her job in London, imagining the lives of the people she sees in the houses visible from the tracks. The story starts with her drinking cans of premixed gin and tonics on the train at the end of a long day.
This is a scene I know well, having commuted into London on the train for many years.
From there I had less in common with the book. It turns out Rachel is an alcoholic who has ruined her life with alcohol. Megan is the woman whose life she imagines as she sees her in her home. Anna is the woman with whom Rachel’s husband had an affair and later married.
It’s hard to say more without giving away the plot. I will say this, the book will scare you as to the possible outcomes of drinking too much and losing control of your life. There are many twists and turns as the book goes on.
Many people have compared The Girl on the Train to Gone Girl and others have angrily dismissed the comparison.
Here’s the similarity I see between the two – both are very dark psychological thrillers. Even more important for me was the mystery of how a novel full of characters who I found repulsive, I still was compelled to keep reading. I didn’t find any of the characters sympathetic, and didn’t particularly want any of them to survive, but I still couldn’t put it down. This is definitely a page turner! A dark and nasty page turner.
A side note to the publisher of the audio book – thank you so much for using three different readers for the three narrators. I would never have been able to follow the book without the three voices.