Monday, 23 May 2016

The Girl On The Train - Paula Hawkins

Everyone in the meeting had finished the book. This was probably because it was quite a short book written in an easy style. But we did not think this was much of a page turner, it didn't grip anyone.

As this book was sold as a tense psychological thriller we were all looking forward to reading it, but we found that we got a little confused with all the jumping backwards and forwards in time. Especially as a lot of the characters felt very similar and quite 2 dimensional. Plus we felt that there really wasn't much of twist as some of us had worked out what was happening and the rest just weren't taken that much by surprise.

A lot of the book was written as if we were in the characters minds so we didn't get a lot of interaction between the characters. This meant we felt a little put to one side with little connection to the characters. We also felt they were a little dull and we didn't really empathise with them very much. We weren't given enough background to feel anything for them at all. We felt that the story wasn't very well developed, and the characters and the plot could have been much better with a lot more polish. It felt like we were reading just facts, maybe the outline of the book rather than a completely realised book. There just wasn't enough depth to the book, and it lacked the creepy factor that is needed in a psychological thriller.

We did find the use of the "rear window" trope to be interesting as it is something that everyone does either on a train, bus or simply out for a walk. To see a lit window and not glance at it is unusual. We thought about how the things we might see through that window might look like a perfect life as a beautiful domestic scene but we never know what's lurking beneath.

We discussed the issue of domestic abuse, both physical and emotional and the reasons that people in abusive relationships might or might not stay.

Overall we gave this book 6.5 out of 10.

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