The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins

I am prepared for readers to be angry with me. Why? Because despite all the hype, I find this book to be nothing more than average. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong at all with average. It is perfectly acceptable to have a book in your hand and read just to enjoy a story. But in my opinion this is one of those books which was over-hyped to the hilt.

It is an average who dunnit written from the point of view of three separate women. All three look alike and frankly, all three have less than stellar personalities. That fact makes it very hard to work up any sympathy or understanding for their plight. Further, the males in their lives are emotionally, mentally and physically abusive.

I don’t want to create any spoilers because I know there are readers out there who are looking forward to busting this book out from their piles and reading it. Please do not be dissuaded by my review of the book. I just found it to be pedestrian and predictable.

I went into the story reading all kinds of deep meaning into it based on the reviews I read. After a quarter of the book I realized that it was simplistic and dropped all my notions of reading things into it that were not there.

By the half way mark, I had figured out who did it and the second half of the book comprised redundant situations. Rachel was perpetually drunk and stupid; Anna was a narcissistic, dissatisfied former mistress now wife and mother; and Megan was a messed up neurotic who spent time drinking and having affairs.

The men did not fare any better. One was a verbally and emotionally abusive man who was racked with insecurities. Another was a sly manipulator with violent tendencies and more emotional and mental abuse of women. The last major male player was at best and emotional stoic.

It is quite depressing so be sure to use your mood lamp if you are reading it during the winter. Don’t expect good depictions of women. I should have known when the title includes girl to describe a woman in her late thirties. Even the female police officer is disparaged. It almost feels like self-hatred of women on the author’s part. But I probably shouldn’t read too much into it. It’s just not that deep.

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