Northwest Missourian Opinion

If there was one word to describe myself, many would think it would be the color red. However, in the deepest parts of my heart, I am a book lover. Entrapping myself in a new world, mainly of steamy love affairs and faraway lands, I find my happy place.

Through my personal library, a three-shelf bookcase in the small corner of my bedroom, I have found a multitude of wonderful love stories, mysteries, autobiographies and more.

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins was a thrilling fill about the blank story of displaced, 32-year-old Rachel Watson as she struggles to remember the events of a possibly horrific night.

A break from fantasy love novels was much needed, and this mystery-thriller was the perfect cure for my boredom and the remedy to my overactive mind, as it worked a mile a minute, in an attempt to keep up with the dark and twisted turns of the novel.

British author Paula Hawkins, known for her psychological thriller novels, created an intriguing story of domestic violence, alcoholism and murder.

The No. 1 best-selling fiction novel in 2015 has scraped the minds of more than 1 million people across the nation, according to the New York Times. Hawkins’ mastery of foreshadowing and ability to spoon feed the reader information drives the story of divorced and alcoholic Rachel.

The character’s life plays out routinely, as she does the same things on default, through the minute details; a pile of clothes left on the train platform, an all too familiar stranger Rachel can’t seem to remember or shake, the throbbing ache in the back of her head.

The reader’s mind will begin to try to fill in the blanks of Rachel’s mind, though her obsessive and self-destructive behavior will leave even more questions to the unsolved mystery.

Just as the reader begins to figure out the mystery, connecting the dots that the characters are too close to see, Hawkins pulls the rug out from underneath them. Throwing a tidbit of what was thought to be trivial information, the story is kick-started into a complete 180, driving the characters and the reader into madness.

A madness that is contagious and addicting until the pages are flipping at lightning speeds and the reader is digesting every sentence, every detail, every word in a matter of seconds, willing themselves to finally get to the big moment of truth.

And as the reader closes in on the truth, the story begins to unravel scene by scene, as Rachel’s memories flood back in spurts, character’s true colors are revealed and details are explained. Hawkins takes the reader on the train ride of their life and nothing is the same.

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