THE NOVEL ‘The Girl On The Train’ was published in 2015 and the movie adaptation has currently engrossed 44.8 million USD. Author Paula Hawking’s manages to write a twisted tail that gives a different interpretation on the overuse amnesia factor in thrillers which throws her work into a very positive light.
The book is written in the changing prospective of three women, Rachel, a 32-year old alcoholic who is still reeling from her failed marriage; Anna Watson, who share’s a daughter with Rachel’s ex-husband and Megan Hipwell, who seems to have a perfect marriage with lovable husband Scott, however not all is what it appears to be.
The story follows along Rachel’s journey on the train from work as she passes by the streets she used to live in while she was married. Her journeys are usually filled with alcohol (Gin and Tonic) as well as fantasising about the perfect Hipwell’s marriage as she names the two of them ‘Jess and Jason’. Rachel seems to face many problems on her journey home, from Anna flaunting her win of getting Tom to choose her, and drunk harassing Tom which she doesn’t remember doing when she’s sober.
Soon Rachel lands herself in a sticky situation as she is caught up in lies and deceit, as she discovers that Megan has gone missing and Rachel is sure she knows something about it. She saw Megan the day before she disappeared committing a shocking act and then the next day Rachel gets so drunk that she wakes up covered in blood and wounds.
What makes things worse is that Rachel can’t remember a single thing. She has amnesia. And she had also been placed near the scene of the crime by Anna who saw her near the area. Rachel decides to don the Sherlock Holmes hat as she becomes her own detective to figure out what really happened to Megan.
The book is made so fascinating by the set of flawed personalities, as Hawking introduces these complicated characters that are far from perfect. The author takes us through this journey in the eyes of these imperfect individuals which makes the story more intriguing as you see the mistakes and consequences the people have to face. Another great aspect of the novel, is the way Hawking managed to juggle three complete different point of views to tell the storyline and how it is seen through different prospective.
Despite the books good ratings, the film version may have fallen a bit flat as the very narrative based book may have been too hard to present in the cinematic format. However, Emily Blunt’s performance as Rachel has been spectacular as she plays the part of a character who is falling apart and this may make up for the fall in narration. However as the saying goes, the book is much better then film.
The novel really allows for the reader to immerse themselves in the storyline and the author brilliantly showcases how nothing is just ‘black and white’ in this page-turning story.