Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Girl on the Train

Two long plane rides and a snow day gives a reader time to read.  I picked up, The Girl on the Train, and put it in my satchel as I headed for the airport on Sunday.  I completed inhaling it today while resting my sore arms from the toil of shoveling.

Very good book. A thriller and a page turner with an unsettlingly plausible plot.

A woman takes a train into London daily. Ostensibly a commuter, when the train stops each day by a certain neighborhood she stares wistfully at the back yards of the homes on one street. She does so because she used to live in one of the houses as the spouse of the man who still lives in one of them with his new wife.

There is a disappearance and a murder. Who did it is a major plot line as is the emotional journey of the commuter who deals with her sadness as well as other hurts by knocking them back far more than she should.

There are five central characters with a few interesting and multi dimensional supporting ones.  The author's, (Paula Hawkins) ability to piece the story together is as impressive as the story itself.  Told in the first person by three of the characters, from different periods in 2012 and 2013, the reader --or at least I--had to go back a number of times to make sure that one event had taken place before another, because the first person narratives are not sequential.

Unlike a lot of whodunits, this book goes beyond the plot line.  When we've taken an emotional jolt our ability to think rationally is compromised. We might think of others as far more solid than they are and we just have a hard time connecting the dots. Maybe we become drunks or maybe we just are intoxicated from the poisons of loss.  It's important to try to purge the toxins, solve our puzzles, and piece our lives back together.

Great way to spend a snowy day and a long ride on an airplane.  Highly recommended.

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