The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins*

Reading dates: 08–23 June 2015

I really did not like this book. I picked it up because sometimes I feel the need to read what everyone else is reading. It has never been a good idea and it did not work this time. Despite the premise, which seems very enticing (and could have been good), this is a book for people who don’t like books very much. The characters, all of them, are both hateful and underdeveloped. They all sound the same, they all have similar flaws and behaviours, as if it was one character with multiple names. The setting is not developed enough either: a train to London could be a magical place but it isn’t, suburban towns have the potential to be haunting but this one is anonymous. The police, perhaps, could have added to the sense of drama, to the chase, but they lacked backbone. Nothing to redeem it. But the worse, the absolute worse, is the gender politics, the role of men and women in the book, especially in their relation to procreation. What ’50 Shades of Gray’ is to fetishism, this book is to feminism. Bland and potentially harmful. The only thing that makes it have one star over none is the portrayal of Rachel’s drunken blackouts.