Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, Sim told us about a solo trip to England when she was twenty and shared news about a book to BBC movie production of Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending. Heather took us to the Jane Austen Center and the Fashion Museum in Bath, complete with dress-up for grown-ups! Becky reviewed a fun children’s book called The Queen’s Hat that takes the reader all over London. Becca shared her favorite British TV shows from Netflix and asked for more suggestions, getting a bunch of them in the comments.
Book: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication date: 2015
Summary: The Girl on the Train is a thriller with many scenes taking place in view of a commuter train into London. There’s more than one narrator (pay attention to the chapter headings!) but Rachel is our main one. Her life is in shambles, but riding the train each weekday gives her some structure. The people in the houses she sees from the train provide fodder for her fantasies. Fantasy is not reality, though, and reality takes a very dark turn in those houses.
Thoughts: I can always tell when a book is popular if it takes weeks for the library to get me a copy. I don’t usually read thrillers but I was intrigued by this one because I loved the trains in England. I really enjoyed the setting of this book in both time and place.
Monday, July 8, 2013. Morning. It’s a relief to be back on the 8:04. It’s not that I can’t wait to get into London to start my week–I don’t particularly want to be in London at all. I just want to lean back in the soft, sagging velour seat, feel the warmth of the sunshine streaming through the window, feel the carriage rock back and forth and back and forth, the comforting rhythm of the wheels on tracks. I’d rather be here, looking out at the houses beside the track, than almost anywhere else. (p. 3)
Have you read The Girl on the Train? What did you think?
Challenges: This is my 2nd book for The British Books Challenge — I’m going pretty slow on that one since I intended to read a dozen books for it.
Other Reviews: Lots of book bloggers read this one!
Sam (Sam Still Reading) didn’t like any of the characters, a common complaint in the Goodreads reviews as well. But, overall, she liked the book because the mystery is so compelling.
Swapna of S. Krishna’s Books, like Sam, noted the comparison that’s been made between The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. I didn’t read Gone Girl because it seemed too dark for my tastes, so I can’t compare, but neither Sam or Swapna thought it was an apt comparison, so I may be right.
Jennifer, the Literate Housewife, enjoyed the audio version, reporting that each of the narrators were read by a different voice actor — a nice touch! Jennifer also put her finger on why some of us may relate to Rachel more than others — as a recovering overeater, there are aspects of Rachel’s psyche that I understand.
[Added]Sim sped through the e-book version and it up on her Chapter 1 – Take 1 blog with news about the movie.
[Added]Carole found The Girl on the Train to be a compulsive page turner in her review at Carole’s Book Corner.
Did you review this book? Let me know and I’ll add the review to this list!