The Girl on The Train By Paula Hawkins
The Girl on the Train is a rollercoaster of events and switches narratives from different characters throughout the book. The books starts in July of 2013, a woman named Rachel Watson is “a girl on a train” as she calls herself. She rides the commuter rail to and from London every day for work, which is a white lie she tells to her landlord, or friend, Cathy so she isn’t worried. While on the train, each day Rachel engages in people-watching and materializes a perfect fantasy life for one couple she is in an extreme obsession with. Since Rachel does not know the name of the couple, she named them herself. She calls them Jason and Jess, and the train stops outside their house every morning. Jason and Jess live on the same street Rachel used to, so Rachel has to pry her eyes away from her old house each time. She does not live there anymore because her relationship with her husband slowly got worse and they divorced. Rachel and her husband, Tom, were trying for a baby but failed to do so (Rachel is simply unable to get pregnant). This caused Rachel to fall into a pit of depression and start drinking, which put a strain on her bond with Tom. Her and Tom would always fight and with the addition of her getting drunk, she would shower him in insults. Tom then had an affair with a girl named Anna. Rachel then ultimately found out about that while going through his emails. Tom then divorced Rachel to be with his new beloved and had a baby named Evie. This is why Rachel loves to picture perfect lives and relationships since hers is far from it. Countless amounts of times she gets drunk and does things she does not mean, so she is constantly in deep regret. However, one day from the train she notices something wrong at the couple’s house and that sighting would change her immensely for the better.
Now, you may think that Rachel is quite an odd personality for her people-watching hobby. However, we all do it, actively watching the life around us. In this way, with her own voyeuristic curiosity, Rachel Watson is not so unusual. What do you think accounts for this nosey, all-too-human impulse? Is it more extreme in Rachel than in the average person? What is so different about her?
As for Rachel being an alcoholic, do you think she had a valid reason? She greatly wanted to be a mother and thought that was one of the most important times in your life. How would you react to not being able to have a baby of your own?
Rachel also has a drinking problem in which her husband left her because of that. Do you think it was right of him to do so, or was it inevitable?