Friday, 27 February 2015

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. 20:20 vision and in need of someone to love!

A different one this month in that I didn’t like the book whereas most of the other members of the Group did. I wasn’t totally on my own there were another one or two who had issues, mainly with the fact that we didn’t like any of the characters. One of us went so far as to even not liking the baby!

One member commented she was sick of female authors writing about weak female characters. It was certainly an on trend book with comparisons being made to Gone Girl and The Silent Wife both of which had characters in we just didn’t care about.

Carrying on with the weak women theme we also picked up on the fact that Rachels flat mate seemed to have quite a controlling boyfriend as well – she was upset at one point as he was off visiting family and wouldn’t take her with him or introduce her to them. All the males in the book could therefore be viewed as having slightly dubious characters even the therapist who crossed the line with Megan.

We all seemed to struggle slightly with the book being told from different perspectives especially at the beginning and when Megan and Scott had different names thanks to Rachel. I in particular struggled with the different timelines and often found myself having to flick back to see what year/month a particular event happened.

I also felt like I was being drip fed information to make me think a certain thing when the author knows all along it’s not true. One of us thought it was really well written though and she is the knowledgeable one when it comes to this so maybe it’s just the style I don’t like rather than the quality of the writing.

I could appreciate the way Hawkins widened our knowledge of Rachel – at first she was a commuter on a train into London then you realised she was an alcoholic, unemployed and obsessed with her ex-husband who just happened to live a few doors down from the ‘perfect couple’ she fantasised about. It did feel like you were slowly being granted 20/20 vision (or like the energy saving light bulb in my kitchen being switched on to show me only after 5 minutes where the kettle AND the toaster is)

We talked about how isolated Rachel was and how easy it is to fall off the path of straight and narrow when you have no support. On the face of it she had family, friends, a job and a husband however she lost all of those things and ended up living with really an acquaintance rather than a good friend.

Apparently the film rights have already been sold and we had another conversation about how easy first time authors seem to be sell film rights now on the back of a half successful trendy release. Are books now always written with a film in mind? Is it a silly thing now not to do?

I as I said most of the group loved it, finding it gripping and suspense filled. The who dunnit element kept people guessing and it was quick and easy to read. Me I just prefer someone I can route for, someone to love!

We awarded it 7.6 with scores ranging from 10 – 5.

Next book is The Martian by Andy Weir.

Question of the Month this month is ………. In contrast to this book and a lot on the market right now what is your favourite book featuring a strong women?