I'm back with a book review for you. Audiobook style. This was last month's book club read and it has literally taken me weeks to get around to writing this review. I hate when that happens, but sometimes I want to "marinate" on it - as they say. Read on to find out what I thought of The Girl on the Train.
Release Date: January 13, 2015 (first published January 1, 2014)
Format: Audio MP3
Pages: Hardcover: 336 pages | Audio Length: Approx 11 hours
Narrator(s): Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Review Date: September 23, 2015
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: 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 a mixed bag of feeling about this book. When reading the synopsis I thought that this story was all about Rachel and what she saw. False advertising in my opinion. This story is about Rachel, Anna, and Megan. How their lives all connect, especially on the day that a murder occurs in Rachel's old neighborhood. Throw in a few husbands, a few secrets, an interesting plot twist, and we have The Girl on the Train.
I'm sure that it didn't help that there were three points of view and they all seemed to have a similar voice in the beginning. After a while the three ladies did come into there own and I could see the distinct personality differences. One similarity between Rachel, Anna and Megan is that, in general, they are all pretty weak women. Yes, they've all had rough times, and life lessons, but it's how you deal with those lessons that makes you weak or strong. Not to mention, Rachel was so drunk half the time, it made her a complete idiot. I had a really hard time connecting with her and the other women in the book.
While I didn't care for most of the characters, I thought the plot in itself was pretty decent. I suspected who the killer was, but I liked that it was a little hard to figure it out. In my opinion, guessing is half the fun when it comes to mysteries and thrillers.
I listened to this on audiobook and I'm glad that I did because as I mentioned earlier it took me 40% before I was really interested and under normal circumstances I would have put it down by then. But when I'm listening to an audiobook I can push myself a little longer because I'm listening while I'm working, or driving, or doing other things. So in that respect, it was definitely a bonus that I picked it up on audio.
With the positive of listening to the audiobook, came a negative also. I've listened to many audiobooks with lots of characters, and a majority of the time there's one narrator reading. This makes me feel that the narrators they selected weren't strong enough to handle the multiple characters or possibly it ties back to what I original thought about the characters not being different enough in their actions and voices... so we the audience needed to be told there are three of characters by using three readers. I don't know. Regardless, outside of that whole three narrators issue, listening to the story help me get through it. Had I read it instead, I'm not 100% sure that I would have finished the book.
I know that it seems like I'm really coming down on the book, but I actually liked the story better after discussing it with others at book club. Originally I was headed towards a two bookmark rating, but after some discussion, I felt a little better about the book and rated it three bookmarks instead. That's one of the great things about book club. Talking it over and hearing different points of view, often times helps to expand your own way of thinking about it. For better or worse.
If you're looking for a book club read, this is a good option. It's definitely a story that will allow for lots of conversation and analysis. Did you read The Girl on the Train? If so, please share with me you're thoughts on this title.
Happy Reading & Listening,