The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
- OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
March 23, 2015
Hawkins’s bestseller introduces us to
a young woman named Rachel Watson, whose life has been unspooling in the years since her recent divorce. Though alcoholism and a loss of self-worth have left her jobless, she continues to commute to London by train past her old Victorian, where ex-husband Tom now lives with his new wife, Anna, and their baby girl. She also passes her neighbors Megan and Scott Hipwell, who are, in Rachel’s words, “a perfect, golden couple.” When she learns that Megan has gone missing, Rachel has a vague memory of having been in the neighborhood, inebriated,
the night of the disappearance. The novel consists of dated entries in the diaries of Rachel, Anna, and Megan, portrayed in this production by a trio of actresses. All three readers perform admirably, and
as the novel speeds toward its breathless whodunit conclusion and the diary entries grow shorter and shorter, it
almost seems as if readers Corbett and Fisher, following the leads of their characters Rachel and Anna, are one-upping each other to have the story’s last word.
A Riverhead hardcover.
Starred review from November 10, 2014
Rachel Watson, the principal narrator of Hawkins’s psychologically astute debut, is obsessed with her ex-husband, Tom. She’s having a hard time putting the past behind her, especially since she confronts it daily, during the hourlong commute to London from her rented room in Ashbury, Oxfordshire, when her train passes the Victorian house she once shared with Tom. She also frequently spies an attractive couple, four doors down from her former home, who she imagines to be enjoying the happily-ever-after that eluded her. Then, suddenly, the woman, pixie-ish blonde Megan Hipwell, vanishes—only to turn up on the front page of the tabloids as missing. The police want to question Rachel, after Anna, Tom’s new wife, tells them that Rachel was in the area drunkenly out of control around the time of Megan’s disappearance. Hawkins, formerly deputy personal finance editor of the Times of London, deftly shifts between the accounts of the addled Rachel, as she desperately tries to remember what happened, Megan, and, eventually, Anna, for maximum suspense. The surprise-packed narratives hurtle toward a stunning climax, horrifying as a train wreck and just as riveting. Agent: Lizzy Kremer, David Higham Associates (U.K.).
- Three talented narrators handle Hawkins's debut psychological thriller, giving identifiable voices and personalities to the characters Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Rachel's life is spinning out of control. She imagines the perfect life of "Jess and Jason," people she sees from a train window on her daily commute. She actively believes in the fantasy, and when she observes something shocking, she determines to intervene. The three narrators alternate chapters, offering differing interpretations of events as seen by Rachel, who drinks excessively and is subject to alcoholic blackouts; Megan, who is having an extramarital affair; and Anna, who is married to Rachel's ex-husband. When Megan disappears and the police investigate, listeners must decide how much of what the women report is reliable. Top-notch narration makes this perfect for audio. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
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