Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

An Uncomfortable Read

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Psychological Thriller/Mystery

I chose this book because of all the buzz generated recently and because it has been compared to Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl".  I felt, after reading, it didn't quite live up to my very high expectations and I could find no similarity to the other book, other than both left me feeling uncomfortable after reading them.

In this book, Rachel is a girl on a train.  She rides into the city everyday, hiding the fact she's lost her job due to her chronic alcoholism.  During her daily travels, she looks out the window and starts to fantasize about the daily lives of those she sees living in a house that used to belong to her...until her disease destroyed her marriage and life.  One day, she discovers the person living in her old home has gone missing and she thinks she might have a clue that could help solve the crime.  No one, however, wants to believe her.

This book made me uncomfortable from beginning to end.  That is always the case with an unreliable narrator and I don't think I've ever seen more of an unreliable character than Rachel.  She is a hot mess from beginning to end.  Her actions, bordering on insane at most points, made me so angry at her stupidity and weakness that I wanted to throw the book.  I alternated between anger, pity, and sadness--as did Rachel herself and all those whose lives she interacted with.  The ending, though, made the journey worthwhile and it's one of those twists that are impossible to see coming.  Overall, it was a great read...just not worthy of the 5 stars I had wanted it to be.

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