Reviewed: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I almost didn’t read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins because the reviews said it was a psychological thriller. I’m not a fan of mysteries or violence, but the need for a good book for a lengthy car trip made me reconsider. I’m glad I did.

The story is narrated by three women: Rachel, Megan and Anna. Rachel has lost her job, drinks too much, and is divorced from her ex-husband Tom. Rachel also rides the train every day, which unfortunately stops in front of her old home, where Tom is happily living with his new wife Anna and their newborn daughter. A few doors down lives Megan, who Anna notices and starts to fantasize about. Eventually Megan goes missing and the three women’s lives intersect in a variety of ways.

I have to admit that I found the beginning of the story rather confusing, probably because I was listening to the audio version. However I soon sorted it out and found it to be a really enjoyable listen. The plot has lots of twists and turns that I didn’t expect, none of which included any violence. I think this book would appeal to both men and women, and would be a great choice for anyone looking for a good novel.

Where is your happy place?

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My family makes fun of me because I love sappy Christmas movies.

My favorite are the low-budget features from the Hallmark Channel. The plots usually feature an unhappy workaholic who is lured back to their birthplace (which is always a small town with a bakery and a Christmas pageant). After a few struggles, the hero(ine) recognizes that relationships are more important than their career. In addition, they reconnect with their family, find their soul-mate, and often save one of their town’s landmarks. By the end of the movie, the madly-in-love couple kisses and it starts to snow. Presumably they live happily ever after.

In the midst of a world wrought by terrorism and tragedy, these movies are my happy place. Their message conveys the Magic of Christmas, where all families have the capacity to forgive and love can overcome any problem. I know that this is too much to hope for, but for 120 minutes during the “12 Movies of Christmas,” I want to believe it’s true.

Today, blog about your happy place.


What is a “Cold Shoulder”?

Giving someone the “cold shoulder” means that you are being disrespectful and trying to get rid of them. There is a legend that houseguests who had overstayed their welcome were served cold meat from an animal’s shoulder. This cold shoulder was an inferior cut and a signal that they needed to move on. In fact, this expression first appeared in 1816 in a novel called the Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott. Scott used the expression a “cold shoulder” to mean turning your body away from someone so that they will not continue to pester you. (Source)