“I am not the girl I used to be. I am no longer desirable, I’m off-putting in some way. It’s not just that I’ve put on weight, or that my face is puffy from the drinking and the lack of sleep; it’s as if people can see the damage written all over me, can see it in my face, the way I hold myself, the way I move.”
― Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train
I placed a hold on the book (The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins) after seeing it on the many lists that I follow. After months, I got notification the book was available for checkout on my Kindle. In the middle of my fifth read of Harry Potter, I started this book. To say I was hooked by the first page is an understatement. Hawkins’ language is compelling. She makes you travel with her on the train. She takes you inside the head of Rachel. She makes you smell the smells and feel the dank, depressing side of human nature.
The book itself took all of one day to read. In between making lunch, doing laundry, folding clothes, I read. The kindle propped up against the wall, the pillow and the back-splash. I read because I could not stop. Halfway, when Tom says “Don’t expect me to be sane, I can’t be, not with you” you know. Yet, you read because you want to see how the story hurtles to its inevitable conclusion.
This is a book I will not buy for it to grace my bookshelf, but it is one of those books I can have animated conversations about. About the author’s style of writing, the prose, the way the novel is constructed, about the frailties of human nature. It is a book I am sure I will read again as I set out on the path to write my own. To take it apart to see why it works. To analyse the weave of the story. To pay homage to the author whose debut is so strong.
A definite read. Pick it up when you have a block of four to five hours and zip through it.