Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Girl on the Train and the Girls around Her

It's been a long time since my last blog post, eh? I started working again last month and my new job has kept me busy since then. I am a teacher assistant in a class of fifteen 5-year-old children now. My kids are all cute but working with them takes all of my energy and patience. Every day, the kids cry, fight, get sick, drop their food to the floor, refuse to follow the lesson, etc. Despite the classroom situation, I also have to face the fact that I am the new girl at the office. Not only the new girl, actually. I am also one of the youngest staff members and one of the few people who are single there. I didn't know that being new, young and single could be difficult, but it turns out that it is. So, things haven't been easy for me these days, but I think it's good to have something new and challenging. Hopefully all these will help me improve myself.

Because of my new job, I have to cut my reading time as well. I usually give myself 30 minutes to read every morning, before I start working. So, I am a super slow reader now. It took me forever to finish Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train. I started reading it right after I finished In the Woods and I just finished it two days ago.

Like In the Woods, a lot of people say that Train is similar to Gone Girl. After reading the book, I have to say that I disagree with that. I think it's more similar to How to Get Away with Murder. Anyways, Train is told from the perspectives of three women whose lives are connected to one another: Rachel, Megan and Anna. Rachel is the girl on the train. After losing her job and her husband, Rachel spends most of her time drinking and sitting on the train to hide the fact that she is jobless. From the train, she often sees her old house, which is now occupied by Anna, her ex-husband's new wife, and the house of the Hipwells. Rachel loves to watch Scott and Megan Hipwell, the young couple who live there, because they remind her of her happy days with her ex-husband, Tom. But one day, Megan goes missing. Rachel's drinking problem makes her unable to recall the memory of that night when Megan goes missing. But she knows that something has happened and she has to try to figure it out.

I love how the author shows the complexity of women through her female characters. The story lets us experience how it feels like to be a wife whose husband cheats with another woman; a woman who cheats with someone else's husband; a wife who betrays her husband; a woman with drinking problem; a bored housewife-mother; a mother who loses a child; a woman who can't have children; etc. This story lets us see that just because she cheats with someone's husband doesn't mean she can't have your sympathy. Just because she is happily married and has beautiful children doesn't mean she is happy. Just because she makes mistakes doesn't mean that she can be blamed for every wrong thing that happens around her. I think this is realistic because real women are complex. Real women have many sides and layers in their personalities. Real women can't be labeled as the bad ones just because they do one bad thing and vice versa.

The ending of this book doesn't really satisfy me. I don't feel like I get a closure with all the characters. After what happens to Megan is revealed and the bad guy is finished, the story just ends. I think it will be better if we get a glimpse of how the characters move on after the case ends, how it has changed them. Oh, the revelation is quite shocking because readers are unable to reveal it at the beginning due to the characters' personal feelings towards one particular character. A lot of authors like to do this these days, don't they?

So I think this book is okay. It's not, llike, very impressive, but it is enjoyable. The next book that I want to buy is entitled The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I found the book in a bookstore and the synopsis at the back of it made me curious. It sounds like a story that will make me emotional. I've read too much murder-related thingy these days, so I think an emotional story will be good. Make sure you read my review of it!

Rating : 3


  1. Very good review. Is it can be viewed from marxism perspective? Something refer to social class. I really need to know. Balas yaaaa. Thx

    1. Hmm I myself see more of women issues here. The narration also plays an important part. Have you read the book and seen the social issues there?

  2. Nope! I have no time to read(Actually I'm lazy). Well then, thx girl!