The Girl on the Train
January 15, 2015
336 pages (hardcover)
A couple months back, I got all up in arms about memoirs and vowed never to read another one (at least for the foreseeable future). Today, I have something new to gripe about: vapid, inconsistent, silly, stupid, annoying, and weak female characters . . . especially when they’re written by female authors. And this book has them in spades.
The Girl on the Train is told from the perspective of three highly annoying female characters. You have Rachel (the titular girl on the train), highly annoying female character #1, who tells about 80 percent of the story. She is clearly an unreliable narrator. She is a raging alcoholic who was fired from her job several months ago for getting sloshed at lunch, losing an important client, and coming back to the office drunk. She is divorced from her husband and living at a friend’s house. She hasn’t told her friend that she was fired from her job, so she still takes the train to London every day and spends the hours wandering around, going to the library, and getting wasted. On the train, she watches people on their patios and terraces, imagining lives (and names and personalities) for them. In the evenings, she calls her ex-husband and professes her undying love for him, despite the fact that he’s clearly moved on.