Girls on Trains

imageThe reading of this book went a lot faster than the previous one I ploughed my way through, and when I finished it I gave it four out of five stars.  Then I read some reviews and was surprised to see so many negative ones.  The biggest complaint was its comparison to “Gone Girl” with reviewers saying it either didn’t live up to expectations or that they didn’t like either one since the characters in both  were unlikable dysfunctional idiots.

Well, it was full of those, but I liked it anyway.  The story is told in bits and pieces by three women.  Rachel is an alcoholic who has blackouts and often a less than firm grasp of reality.  She has lost her home, her husband and her job and spends most of her time feeling bad about her situation, telling lies and making excuses and riding on the train.  She wallows and is unable (or unwilling) to change.

Anna (married to Tom, Rachel’s ex) lives in Rachel’s old house with Tom and their new baby.  She is exasperated by Rachel’s inability to let Tom go, her drunken phone calls at all hours and her lurking about, and she fears for the safety of her child.

Megan lives a few doors away with her husband, does not have the idyllic life that Rachel imagines as she observes the couple each day from the train, and has her own set of issues and secrets to deal with. For a short time she helps Anna out when the baby is small.  And gets herself up to even more shenanigans, but we don’t learn about that until later.

When Megan disappears, everyone left is a suspect, including Megan’s therapist who was seen by Rachel (from the train)  kissing Megan on her deck the morning of the day she went missing.

I can’t count how many times I sighed and thought OMG Rachel, what kind of asinine thing are you going to do next?  But hey, it kept me interested and reading right up to the end.  There’s a real art to giving out just enough information to get readers headed in a certain direction and then having them find out some new thing that changes their minds.

I stand by my four stars.  Even if you figure out the mystery well before the end, it’s still an enjoyable journey getting there.

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16 thoughts on “Girls on Trains

  1. I usually don’t like thrillers, but I loved this one! I couldn’t put it down. The main character drove me bonkers at times, (thought she could have developed her a bit better) but the story was excellent, definitely a page turner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, had read the comments before the book andhad read Gone Girl before, also. I loved this book. And it was much better than Gone Girl. Getting a story through the eyes of a drunkard is quite different, and fascinating. Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also had a discussion in a book group. What I don’t understand is that everyone compares it to Gone Girl, it is entirely different. What I like were the observations from the train into the back garen. I grew up in London (now in Switzerland for the past 49 years) but remember so well the train journeys on that part of the underground that went into the open country, You saw so many back gardens with things happening, washing hanging up, children playing and people having a conversation, the imagination could run wild. I enjoyed this book, interesting and intriguing, but please do not compare it with Gone Girl which I also read. It is something completely different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only similarities are the different points of view and the psychological stuff, I.e. what motivates people to do what they do. I guess. That was just off the top of my head.
      My sister and I took a train from Gatwick to London so the first thing we saw on our trip to England/Scotland was views people’s backyards at dawn! It was a perfect start to our holiday.

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