Rachel Watson watches Jess and Jason every morning and afternoon when she takes the train to and from London. She watches them when the train stops in front of their house. She thinks about how Jess is probably artistic or that Jason is some sort of doctor since he tends to be absent for days at a time. Even though she has never met Jess or Jason, it’s comforting to see them everyday. The smallest things can make a difference, especially when your life has fallen apart slowly, but surely.
In “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, Rachel takes comfort in seeing the seemingly perfect couple, Jess and Jason. Seeing as how her marriage fell apart, she takes solace in seeing a couple so in love. The only hard part about seeing Jess and Jason is that a few houses down is the house she used to live in with her ex-husband, Tom. He now lives there with his new wife, Anna, and their daughter. She tries so hard to not look at the house she loved so much and was loved in, but she can’t resist.
Day after day, she looks at her old house. Day after day, she watches Jess drink coffee on her upstairs terrace with Jason by her side.
One day, the perfect image Rachel has of Jess and Jason is shattered, she witnesses something that Jess does that makes her so angry. A few days later, she learns that Jess, actually named Megan, has been missing. She fears that what she witnessed Megan do has something to do with her disappearance, and maybe death.
Rachel feels like it’s up to her to tell the police what she saw, because it could be a big clue into what happened to Megan. Except the thing about Rachel is that she’s not a reliable witness. She is an alcoholic who tends to blackout from drinking too much. The story she tells doesn’t add up and the police think she’s making thing up and it doesn’t help that Anna saw Rachel on their street the night Megan disappeared.
It’s up to Rachel to figure out how to get the police to trust her and to remember what happened the night Megan disappeared. She gets bits and pieces of the night but she doesn’t know if they are memories from the past or from the night Megan disappeared. Until Rachel can figure out and prove what happened that night, Megan’s disappearance and potential death might never be solved.
While watching “The Girl on the Train” I had two constant thoughts. 1. Wait. I’m confused. and 2. WHAT?! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. You feel sorry for Rachel and her sad life. She turned into an alcoholic, which ultimately ended her marriage. Now she watches day after day as her husband’s new wife tends to the house she used to live in. The house she decorated and lived in for years. You feel even worse for her when she struggles so hard to figure out what happened the night Megan disappeared. Police officers don’t take her seriously when they find out she’s an alcoholic who has been harassing her ex-husband and new wife.
Thrillers are my favorite genre of movies, they keep you guessing from the beginning to the end. “The Girl on the Train” was no different. There is a dramatic twist in the end, that I somehow guessed, but my boyfriend didn’t see it coming at all. I was still left speechless when my guess for the twist was true.
I of course had to read the book. I planned on reading the book first but I ended up watching the movie first. I was so excited to read the book and I was not disappointed. The book was definitely much better than the movie, which is saying a lot since the movie was already so good. The book goes into more details of all of the relationships, which I really liked. You get to know the characters a lot better and the events that unfold make even more sense.
Even though I knew what happened at the end of the movie, I was still so intrigued to see how the book ended. There were plenty of times when I wasn’t sure if the ending to the book was going to be the same as the movie because some events happened in slightly different ways. The book could have definitely ended in a completely different way and I would have been more than fine with that.
I highly recommend watching the movie first and then reading the book. The movie might be disappointing after reading the book because it doesn’t have as much detail as the book does. But it’s still a really amazing movie. If you like mystery, drama and thrillers, this book and movie are just for you.