The Girl on the Train Book Summary - The Girl on the Train Book explained in key points

The Girl on the Train summary

Paula Hawkins

Brief summary

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a gripping psychological thriller that follows the lives of three women, tangled in a web of obsession, deceit, and shocking secrets. It will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

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    The Girl on the Train
    Summary of key ideas

    The Start of a Journey

    In The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, we are introduced to Rachel Watson, a woman who is struggling with alcoholism and the recent end of her marriage. She takes the train to and from London every day, and during her journey, she passes by her old house, where her ex-husband Tom now lives with his new wife Anna and their baby. Rachel also becomes fixated on a couple, whom she names Jess and Jason, living a few houses down from her old home. She imagines their perfect life, which she believes is the opposite of her own.

    One day, Rachel sees something shocking from the train window. She witnesses Jess, whose real name is Megan Hipwell, kissing a man who is not her husband. This event deeply affects Rachel, and she decides to involve herself in Megan's life, believing that she is helping her. However, her actions lead to a series of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

    The Disappearance of Megan Hipwell

    Soon after Rachel's sighting, Megan Hipwell goes missing. Rachel, who was in the area on the night of Megan's disappearance, becomes a key witness in the investigation. However, due to her alcohol-induced blackouts, she cannot remember what happened that night. Rachel's obsession with Megan and her own personal struggles make her an unreliable narrator, and she becomes a suspect in the eyes of the police and even herself.

    As the investigation progresses, we learn more about Megan's troubled past. She was once a troubled teenager named 'Jess' who had a traumatic experience that led her to change her identity. Megan's husband, Scott, is devastated by her disappearance and becomes a prime suspect. Rachel, feeling a connection with Megan, tries to help Scott find his wife, but her efforts only lead to more confusion and danger.

    Unraveling the Truth

    Meanwhile, Rachel's obsession with the case intensifies, and she starts to investigate Megan's life on her own. She discovers that Megan was having an affair with her therapist, Dr. Abdic, the man Rachel saw her kissing from the train. Rachel's own life becomes entangled with the Hipwells and her ex-husband, Tom, who she learns was Megan's therapist. She begins to suspect Tom's involvement in Megan's disappearance.

    As Rachel's memories start to resurface, she recalls a violent encounter with Tom on the night of Megan's disappearance. She realizes that Tom was controlling and abusive, and he killed Megan when she threatened to expose his affair. Rachel confronts Tom, and in a dramatic turn of events, she manages to overpower him and save herself. The truth about Megan's disappearance is finally revealed, and Rachel's name is cleared.

    A New Beginning

    In the end, Rachel starts to rebuild her life. She moves away from her old neighborhood and begins attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. She also forms a friendship with Scott, who is left devastated by the truth about his wife's infidelity and death. Rachel's journey on the train, which started as a form of escapism, has led her to confront her past and take control of her future.

    In conclusion, The Girl on the Train is a gripping psychological thriller that delves into the complexities of human relationships and the impact of trauma. It explores the themes of addiction, abuse, and the blurred lines between reality and perception. The novel keeps the reader guessing until the very end, making it a compelling and thought-provoking read.

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    What is The Girl on the Train about?

    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a gripping psychological thriller that follows the story of Rachel, an alcoholic who becomes obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple she sees from the train every day. When the woman goes missing, Rachel becomes entangled in the investigation and uncovers dark secrets about the people involved. Filled with twists and turns, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

    The Girl on the Train Review

    The Girl on the Train (2015) is a thrilling novel that will keep you hooked from start to finish. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • With its suspenseful storyline, the book will have you guessing until the very end, making it impossible to put down.
    • The complex and well-developed characters add depth and intrigue to the plot, keeping readers engaged throughout.
    • Through its exploration of themes of trust, obsession, and memory, the book offers a thought-provoking and gripping reading experience.

    Who should read The Girl on the Train?

    • Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers with unreliable narrators
    • Those looking for a captivating and suspenseful story with unexpected twists
    • People who are interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of obsession

    About the Author

    Paula Hawkins is a British author known for her gripping psychological thrillers. After working as a journalist for many years, Hawkins made her fiction debut with the novel "The Girl on the Train." The book became an instant sensation, topping bestseller lists around the world and being adapted into a successful film. Hawkins' ability to create complex, flawed characters and craft suspenseful, twist-filled plots has solidified her reputation as a master of the genre. Her other notable works include "Into the Water" and "A Slow Fire Burning."

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    The Girl on the Train FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Girl on the Train?

    The Girl on the Train explores the consequences of obsession and the blurry line between truth and perception.

    How long does it take to read The Girl on the Train?

    The reading time for The Girl on the Train varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Girl on the Train a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Girl on the Train is a riveting thriller that keeps you guessing till the end. Definitely worth the read!

    Who is the author of The Girl on the Train?

    The author of The Girl on the Train is Paula Hawkins.

    How many chapters are in The Girl on the Train?

    The Girl on the Train has 29 chapters.

    1. How it starts
    2. Morning
    3. To the platform
    4. I'm in the wrong carriage
    5. Drinking partners
    6. Unawake
    7. No. 15
    8. Ness#Aberdeen
    9. Va-Va 'Voom!
    10. Welcome to Witney
    11. Noists
    12. The Wedding Group
    13. Baby Gopal
    14. Writing to the solicitor
    15. Two people in a pub
    16. Sad sickly sweet? Or fishy?
    17. All is well? Plus Blood.
    18. Sam Heuston
    19. Scottish grass!
    20. No. 23
    21. The woman in the tunnel
    22. Megan, Megan, Megan
    23. A favour from a business associate
    24. The brown cat
    25. Week 14, 2013
    26. Guilt is an ugly thing
    27. The way to Beenhurst
    28. The murder weapon
    29. Altogether now
    30. The ice breaks

    How many pages are in The Girl on the Train?

    The Girl on the Train contains 320 pages.

    When was The Girl on the Train published?

    The Girl on the Train was published in 2015.

    What to read after The Girl on the Train?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Girl on the Train, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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