Monday, March 16, 2015

The Girl on the Train—A Beach Read For Your Next Cruise

Beach Reads can be almost any literary genre, from romances and historic novels to non-fiction, biographies, and thrillers. As an avid reader, I enjoy them all and part of my packing routine before any trip is a search for books to load on my Kindle. Friends often share their favorite authors and titles, but my most recent read, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was sent to me by the author's publisher to review. A New York Times bestseller, it lived up to its hype on The Today Show that predicted it would be seen "on trains, planes, and automobiles." Let me add cruise ships to the list. It's a great Beach Read.

The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller that takes the reader aboard the train that Rachel rides to London each day. From the window of the train that passes her former neighborhood she sees not only her old home that backs up to the tracks—where her ex-husband and his new wife and baby now live—but also observes the daily activities of a young couple who live down the street. She fantasizes about what she imagines the couples' lives are like and even gives this "perfect" duo imaginary names. When tragedy befalls them, Rachel gets off the train and inserts herself into the investigation to find out what happened. Sadly, Rachel's dependence on alcohol is her worst enemy as she runs into her ex and his wife who are suspicious of her motives for being in the neighborhood.

Not since Gone Girl have I been so riveted by a book that I couldn't put it down. While I could have saved it for my next cruise, when I opened The Girl on the Train, I was hooked and kept reading. As a rule I'm somewhat put off by stories that take place in London; however, this one doesn't use colloquialisms that an American would find confusing.

I don't want to give anything else about the plot away and ruin it for you. But I will share that it's the compelling story of three women whose paths cross—with a shocking ending that I honestly didn't see coming.

Interestingly, a friend who often recommends titles to me, told me I just had to read her latest favorite—The Girl on the Train—the day after I'd finished reading it. We both highly recommend it as the perfect Beach Read for your next cruise vacation.

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