I really loved so much about this book by Paula Hawkins. I was really into the characters, the plot, the setting. I love the idea (and execution) here of events really being set off from the view from a passing train, and the unknown suffering and lives of people on and off of said train. I really actually thought- please don’t judge me- this might be the next Gone Girl. I loved that book so much. (I no longer think this is the next Gone Girl BTW.)
Most books today, it seems, tell events from at least 2 perspectives, so sometimes that gets old to me, but here I was ok with it because of how things were later revealed to be entangled among the characters.
The main character especially was unlike any other female character I can recall reading, in a good way. Really real, really flawed, really interesting. Angering, but understandably so, as people in our actual lives can be. Someone I do not admire or aspire to be. I like reading that. I think probably we are all less admirable than we seem, if we were honest in our thoughts all the time. This main character is depressed, alcoholic, kind of addicted to lying, lonely, desperate, manipulative, annoying…I could go on. And yes, I like reading that. I’d prefer that to someone with only one fault. How many people do you know that only have one fault? This character is multidimensional, like it or not.
There were a few sentences throughout the book that I liked so much I had to re-read them several times. Insights about marriage and love, obsession, vices, new parenthood, womanhood, sexuality. Things I really identified with, and things most books don’t give that kind of voice to. Unpleasant truths.
I don’t go for thrillers usually, but the first at least half of this book didn’t seem like a thriller. The whodunnit aspect picked up speed halfway or so through. When it really got thriller-y may have been when I lost enthusiasm. I still wanted to find out what happened, but the end felt tacked on and different from the rest of the book. The person (SPOILERS here but I won’t name names) who committed the crime- I mean maybe this is a really typical crime genre trope and this is like an homage to that- but the guilty party like, laying it all out and admitting everything and explaining in detail what they did and how and when, with the intention to probably kill those they tell- thumbs down. Satisfying as a reader on some level, interesting if it’s an homage, but so easy, and simpler than the rest of the book. Personally I really prefer open ends- when you have to imagine the details and you have questions left over. Where it’s assumed you are not a 10 year old.
I’m glad I read it, I really enjoyed almost the entire thing- but I was disappointed in the way the characters behaved in the end because it felt like a non-thought-out novel ending- just generic, appealing to the masses maybe. Took it out of Gone Girl territory. And the rest of the book didn’t feel that way. All this said, I’d absolutely read the next book Paula Hawkins puts out.
Written By Fusion Alternative Blogger: Samantha Newman