Rachel has a serious drinking problem after the failure of getting pregnant, which leads to divorce. She lives with her old friend while her ex-husband Tom is currently living with Anna and their baby at Rachel's former house. Rachel tries not to look at the house every time she takes the train to London. Besides feeling hurtful, she is actually more obsessed to watch the couple who is living in another house. Rachel even has invented names (Jess and Jason) and story for them until her imaginary Jess is missing. From the news, she only knows their real names are Megan and Scott.
Before the disappearance of Megan, the story brings us back one year ago to know what happened to Megan's life. Megan experienced some mental health problem, and she went to a therapist. Scott is very controlling and often closely monitoring Megan's daily life.
Meanwhile, when the story returns to the disappearance of Megan, Rachel has no idea what she had done on Saturday evening. She experienced a blackout and has no recollection of what she did to Anna. After she wakes up the next morning, she sees there is a lot of mess in her house. Tom left a message and seemed outraged with her behaviour on the night before. At the same time, Megan is missing around the time when Rachel was seen acting strangely and walking around in the street near Megan's house.
There were so many tug-of-war emotions, and Rachel is so messed up and indecisive. It's like "I shouldn't be here, but I really want to be here", "I shouldn't lie, but I really want to be part of it", "I shouldn't know, but I really want to know". And there was a lot of shouldn't, but she did it in the end. I couldn't even catch up with her lies. There were too many to the extent that I no longer able to differentiate which version supposed is the truth.
Also, so many people want to speak to someone in this story. Everyone wants to talk to the other person to know something or get the truth out from that person, and that person either lies to that person or someone else. It's like circulating among all the characters in this story. And then someone will cover up for someone else for an unknown reason. Or I started to get confused. I feel I'm like in a merry-go-round.
I don't know whether the author is playing around with the characters, or Rachel is fooling everyone, including the readers like me. I don't understand why this book is so well-known. I feel Rachel, or basically, almost everyone in the story is so annoying. I feel so tired with Rachel's messy life, and she's ruining everyone's lives. I wish I can be more sympathetic to an alcoholic like her, but I can't. I really don't like her drinking away her life and then affecting others with her selfish act. She keeps saying she wants to help, but she comes out with more lies. Actually, she's the one that needs help the most.
I was a bit disappointed with how the story progresses towards the ending. I mean the plot twist is alright, but I didn't get it how Rachel suddenly so sober instead of gradually remembers everything. It's like suddenly there is nothing wrong with her after being so messy in her life for more than 80% of the story. It's not very convincing to me.
- Megan had an affair with her therapist Kamal, but he is trying his best to push her away to avoid losing his job.
- Rachel disguised herself as Megan's friend, who used to visit her gallery. Her intention is to tell Scott about the man that she saw kissing with Megan before she disappears.
- Megan's body was found submerged on water. Scott becomes the main suspect because of his controlling behaviour towards his wife. Those are what Megan's friend and the therapist told the police about Scott. However, Rachel believes Scott and still suspecting the therapist Kamal is the killer.
- Anna still wondering why Rachel appeared around Megan's house on Saturday night. She really wants to move out from the house, but Tom is hesitant due to the financial reason. Tom told Anna that he already talked to Rachel not to come near to their house, but Anna caught him lying when he said he saw Rachel and she looks alright. Anna begins to have doubts about Tom's words because he used to tell her that he's a good liar.
- Meanwhile, the DNA result comes back and shows that the dead baby inside Megan neither belongs to Scott nor Kamal.
- When Rachel confronts Anna about Tom, both of them realised that they never met Tom's parents before. Anna admits that she knows Tom cheated on her with Megan. Tom comes home after that and finds two of them together in the house. He reveals that he killed Megan when she wants to tell Anna about their affair and her pregnancy. When Rachel tries to run away, Tom chases after her but got killed by her with a corkscrew. Anna tells the police that Rachel acted based on self-defence.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.