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Lit Crit: The Girl On The Train

(No Spoilers In This Review)
As a recent Literature Graduate school grad (that's a lot of grads isn't it?) it's obvious that I love to read. However, with a new job and an hour to an hour and a half commute everyday, I find myself barely finding enough time to do my laundry let alone dive into a novel. I'm not a huge books on tape person but I had heard enough about the Audible app to be curious enough to give it a try, especially since the first book is completely free.

I decided to read...or rather listen to, The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins. I finished it in a week and can honestly say that I loved the audible version. There are three main voices in the novel and every chapter starts with "Megan" or "Rachel" and I loved that they had three different women voice the chapters for each individual character so there was never any confusion as to who was speaking.
The novel centers around a woman named Rachel who has lost her fiancee, job, and path in life, yet still maintains a routine of taking the train into London everyday so that her roommate doesn't find out she's lost her job because of her alcoholism. While on the train she passes the same houses and people everyday and makes up little life stories for them. Something I often do, especially if in an airport or other crowded area; it's fun to imagine names and lives of strangers. 

The novel does begin slow, but speeds up with the disappearance of a girl whom Rachel passes everyday on the train while she heads to London. Without giving too much away, the novel centers on a murder mystery theme which could easily be solved if Rachel didn't have a drinking and blackout problem. Through her hazy memories and frequent blackouts, Rachel attempts to assist in solving the disappearance. I definitely enjoyed the book, but I didn't think it was worth all the praise until about 3/4 of the way through. However, there were certain moments when, as a writer myself, I was taken away by the beauty of Hawkins' lyrical writing.
Hollowness: that I understand. I'm starting to believe that there isn't anything you can do to fix it. That's what I've taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps
The ending is where the story really picked up and was fantastic, although getting there was a struggle. I was expecting the pace of Gone Girl, which constantly kept my attention, but this book moved very slow. I also found it frustrating to have such an unreliable narrator and found myself getting annoyed at her constantly blacking out and never remembering anything. It was hard to not only trust her as a protagonist but like her because she got on my nerves. But again, the explosive ending which I don't want to get into in case I spoil it for those who haven't read it, is definitely worth the wait. I was thoroughly surprised and mind-boggled and very satisfied with the ending given to The Girl On The Train. 
Overall I'm giving this so called "greatest novel of our time" a 3 out of 5 books. I believe I would have enjoyed it more if there wasn't so much hype around it.

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