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Summary and book reviews of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins X
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2015, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2016, 336 pages

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Book Summary

"Gripping, enthralling - a top-notch thriller and a compulsive read." - S J Watson, bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train...

Excerpt
The Girl on the Train

She's buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks, her grave marked with a cairn. Not more than a little pile of stones, really. I didn't want to draw attention to her resting place, but I couldn't leave her without remembrance. She'll sleep peacefully there, no one to disturb her, no sounds but birdsong and the rumble of passing trains.


•   •   •


One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl . . . Three for a girl. I'm stuck on three, I just can't get any further. My head is thick with sounds, my mouth thick with blood. Three for a girl. I can hear the magpies—they're laughing, mocking me, a raucous cackling. A tiding. Bad tidings. I can see them now, black against the sun. Not the birds, something else. Someone's coming. Someone is speaking to me. Now look. Now look what you made me do.


RACHEL


•   • ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Boston Globe
Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages. . . . The welcome echoes of Rear Window throughout the story and its propulsive narrative make The Girl on the Train an absorbing read.

Denver Post
Paula Hawkins deftly imbues her debut psychological thriller with inventive twists and a shocking denouement. … Hawkins delivers an original debut that keeps the exciting momentum of The Girl on the Train going until the last page.

The Washington Post
The Girl on the Train, Hawkins’s first thriller, is well-written and ingeniously constructed.

USA Today
The Girl on the Train marries movie noir with novelistic trickery. . . hang on tight. You'll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend.

Entertainment Weekly
[The Girl on the Train] pulls off a thriller's toughest trick: carefully assembling everything we think we know, until it reveals the one thing we didn't see coming.

People
Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller. . . . Hawkins’s debut ends with a twist that no one—least of all its victims—could have seen coming.

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Hawkins’s tale of love, regret, violence and forgetting is an engrossing psychological thriller with plenty of surprises. . . . The novel gets harder and harder to put down as the story screeches toward its unexpected ending.

The Guardian (UK)
Paula Hawkins has come up with an ingenious slant on the currently fashionable amnesia thriller. . . . Hawkins juggles perspectives and timescales with great skill, and considerable suspense builds up along with empathy for an unusual central character.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Psychologically astute debut . . . The surprise-packed narratives hurtle toward a stunning climax, horrifying as a train wreck and just as riveting.

Kirkus Reviews
[A] chilling, assured debut. . . . Even the most astute readers will be in for a shock as Hawkins slowly unspools the facts, exposing the harsh realities of love and obsession's inescapable links to violence.

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