I wanted to hate this book. I certainly disliked the characters, but in their absolute dysfunction, I found I had to keep reading. I guess I became the “rubbernecker” fascinated, even rooting for a good outcome for the main character Rachel, who all at once I disliked, felt sorry for, and wanted good things to happen to. She is a victim of circumstance, of life, and her own poor decisions. I wanted her to find her own redemption, and in the end, I think she did.
The story weaves itself in and out of three essential characters, where the reader gets glimpses into the days, and nights of what you think are random events. You’re taken on a train ride, each chapter like a stop on the line. The author takes its reader for a ride, stoping in the present and in the past. It is this mixed up chronology that in the end, gets you to your destination in a way you wouldn’t have expected.
I don’t usually lean toward this genre and often choose to read books like these because I want to study how they were written, for plot purposes, for character studies and so forth.
The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins is very much in the wheelhouse of a Gillian Flynn where the story is character driven and often the outcome is tragic and morose.