Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: January 2015 by Riverhead Books
Acquired: Purchased from Amazon
Rating: 5 Stars
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. 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 offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. I felt every single character's feelings... I felt angry, depressed, hopeless, hopeful, satisfied, imaginative. Rachel isn't a character I can relate to, but she allowed me to see alcoholism from a different perspective. I was around an alcoholic for most of my childhood and in my early teenage years. I was never an enabler and I have pretty strong views on drunks in general. That being said, Rachel is an alcoholic. She has blackouts and knows the consequences of drinking before she takes a sip, but still decides to drink at some times. This small aspect of the novel angered me, but it was integral to the story.
Rachel rides the train every day and observes the people around her. Her daily commutes to and from home take her by the same house, where she become slightly obsessed with the couple living there. One day she sees something different than the usual. This enrages Rachel and she takes her anger out by drinking more alcohol and harassing her ex-husband. Then she blacks out. Feeling guilty and not knowing what happened on a very important night, she starts investigating herself. She rips off small pieces of paper, writes down details, and then stuffs them in her purse. She wanted to be a part of something, but we find out quickly that sometimes it's not good to be in the inner circle. My favorite quote in the book...
"Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis."
I enjoyed this novel to rate it 5 stars. I don't normally read thriller/suspense novels, but this one surprised me. It is very hard to review this novel without giving details that I know a reader would want to discover themselves. So I'm basically saying to quit reading everyone's reviews and just go buy this book. I promise... you'll thank me later.