"PEOPLE DIE, BUT BOOKS NEVER DIE."
~ ANONYMOUS ~
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 2015
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
MY THOUGHTS (w/a few spoilers):
The Girl on the Train is a page turner from the beginning. While this is Paula Hawkins's first time writing a thriller she did a great job keeping the reader engaged throughout the whole story. Hawkins's uses the voices of three characters to tell the story - Rachel Watson, Megan Hipwell and Anna Boyd. Each character tells their story in relation to Megan's disappearance.
Rachel Watson is the sad, depressed, drunk heroine who's life has been turned upside down by her divorce to her now ex-husband Tom. In order to dull the hurt and anger caused by her ex-husband Tom and his new wife Anna Boyd, Rachel has turned to drinking. One day while on her way to work she believes she may have seen the person who is responsible for Megan Hipwell's death. Due to having a fantasy about Megan's life Rachel feels compelled to involve herself in the investigation because she's convinced herself she can help solve the case. This is also a way for her to have a purpose in her life. However, Tom and Anna discredited Rachel to the police by painting her as a stalker and harasser. In the meantime Rachel is haunted by a memory of the night Megan disappeared but due to being in a drunk she can't put the pieces together. Amid Rachel's storyline we also hear from Megan and how unhappy she is with her life. Even though she is happy with her husband she has a secret that she has hidden from him and tries to deal with it herself. Oftentimes unsuccessfully. Meghan comes across a lost individual. Throughout the book Anna has deep contempt for Rachel. As she divulges her reasons for the threat she believes Rachel poses to her and her family it's also hard to find a lot of sympathy for her character.
As I read The Girl on the Train, I couldn't help but feel sad and embarrassed for Rachel. Her life consisted of trying to lie not only to herself but to everyone around her and prove she had not fallen apart. Slowly Rachel divulges what her life has been like for the past few years after her divorce. She'd lost everything. Through Megan's disappearance Rachel felt she could make things better. She would not only help bring the murderer to light but also help pull herself together. She would be a hero. Unfortunately, Rachel didn't take into account by trying to help Megan she would also uncover some parts of her past she also hid from herself. Meghan came across as someone who was very unsure of herself and always trying to please someone. She was very unhappy. She would try to find happiness in all the wrong places and unfortunately it came back to bite her. Anna was my least favorite character. She failed to take any responsibility in causing Rachel's relationship to end. It was at the end that she redeemed herself.
My only one very small complaint about the book is that Hawkins didn't make Rachel's sobriety believable to me. From what I understood Rachel had been drinking for quite some time and I didn't see Rachel struggling to quit. Maybe Rachel's need to help in the investigation overcame her need to drink. I guess it can happen.
Overall: I really liked the book. It was well written and kept me engaged throughout the whole thing. I wanted to know who the killer was and was surprised when it was revealed. I read and did the audiobook too (gave me an opportunity to knit). I enjoyed both mediums. I have not seen the movie but I plan to.
What did you think of the book? Did you think all the character's were believable? Do you think Hawkins did a good job unveiling what happened to Meghan? Did you feel for any of the characters? If so, why or why not?
Author: Lianne Moriarty
Published Date: August 2015
Sometimes it's the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.
A murder...A tragic accident...Or just parents behaving badly? What's indisputable is that someone is dead.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare, but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. These three women are a different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
An unlikely trio of women become friends during the first day of school orientation for their 5-year old children. If only it was that easy. The books starts with a murder which took place at a parent/teacher Trivia Night. Although the place was full of people nobody seems to know what happened including the ones that were at the scene. The story focuses on Madeline, Celeste and Jane. Madeline is a firecracker. She’s someone who would bat for you if she considers you a friend but who you wouldn't want to be on her bad side. Jane is young, quiet and shy but with a secret that she's scared anyone will find out. Celeste is in a word - beautiful. She walks into a room and people literally trip over themselves to stare at her. Her life and her husband are what everyone hopes to have. However, they all have their own dilemmas. Moriarty does a great job keeping you engaged in the mystery while divulging what is going on in these woman's personal lives.
I really enjoyed this book and was hooked from the beginning. While the book is a suspense/thriller there's also is an element of humor. Oftentimes I found myself laughing at the snippets of the various parents trying to tell the detective what happened that night. While some were drunk or weren’t even in the area of the murder, many couldn’t quite help divulge the personal information of some of the parents there. In the meantime, the detective is trying to figure out what happened and we get a pretty good idea of how cliquey the school has become. The story had me guessing up until the end and I definitely didn’t expect the outcome.
What did you think of the characters? Would you have been friends with Madeline, Jane and/or Celeste? Could you relate to any part of the problems that they had? Did you think Moriarty did a good job telling the story? Is there anything you would change? Did you know who did it before it was revealed? Do you think the ending came together?
Thank you, your message has been sent