I’ll start. I was one of the few, the grumpy, the one that didn’t particularly care for this book. It was a case of extreme apathy about the characters. I didn’t care about Rachel’s depression and alcoholism, I didn’t care about Tom and Anna’s affair, I didn’t care what happened to the wife. I also did something that I never do and that was guess the ‘twist’ about one-third of the way into the book.
You are not alone! I was meh at best about the book. I felt like Hawkins took the easy way out by making Rachel an alcoholic. Someone who suffers from blackouts can’t be counted on to remember anything reliably, so where is the tension in that? And yes, I know that is how Hawkins played her, but it felt like a cheap shot. I prefer a character that is too smart, using her brains to wreak havoc as opposed to someone who is being pushed around.
Even moving beyond Rachel’s alcoholism, Hawkins decision to have not one but three unreliable narrators did not work for me. As I said in my review, it was drama trauma. Plus the fact that none of them were sympathetic goes back to our discussion on Monday. I didn’t like any of them, nor did I find them developed enough to hold my interest.
Oh good point… also, I love the phrase ‘drama trauma.’ Three unreliable narrators was totally overkill.
NO NO NO. I love you both, but I disagree with almost everything you’ve said. I say that with all the kindness I can muster. (Friends forever, amirite?) I thought this book was better than Gone Girl. THERE, I SAID IT.
The comparison of this book to Gone Girl bugs me because I found The Girl on the Train to be better written, and I find most comparisons like this to be lazy marketing. I had an easier time feeling for and relating to the characters in Train. I’m not a black-out alcoholic, but that was easier for me to grasp than the absolute sociopath that was Amy in Gone Girl. I felt for Rachel. She was pitiful and desperate and completely interesting to me.
I didn’t find this to be the most stirringly written literature of all time, but it was a page turner for me. It came along just when I needed this sort of book. I cracked it open one morning and didn’t put it down until I was done. I didn’t get out of my pajamas that day. I can’t say with any certainty whether or not I brushed my teeth.
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What do you think, readers? Is Jennifer all alone in her enthusiasm about this book? Did the marketing comparison hit the mark? Were you surprised by the twist, or did you figure it out early on? Did you find Rachel to be a compelling character?
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