Best Story the Girl on the Train Summary

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins (Goodreads Author)

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

the girl on the train

picture from the girl on the train

Rachel Watson was a completely intriguing character. So when Emily Blunt was announced for the part, alongside Rebecca Ferguson as Anna, that casting was enough to pique my interest in a film adaptation. The third important female in Hawkins’ thriller, Megan Hipwell, is played by Hayley Bennett (Hardcore Henry); Megan is married to Scott (Luke Evans) and from the looks of this trailer, Bennett may be the weakest link. Anchored by Blunt — and always excellent, Allison Janney as the detective in charge of *spoilers!* — it’s possible this thriller will work itself out. My brain can’t help wanting to replace Bennett with Brie Larson, and there’s not enough Theroux here to comment on his Tom (Rachel’s former husband, and Anna’s current). Thanks to The Leftovers, I’ve come to appreciate Theroux, so I feel safe assuming he’ll be great.

The Girl on the Train is directed by Tate Taylor (The Help), and co-stars Édgar Ramírez, Laura Prepon and Lisa Kudrow (amusingly, as Monica). It hits theaters October 7th.

Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.

Director: Tate Taylor
Adapted from: The Girl on the Train
Screenplay: Erin Cressida Wilson
Production companies: DreamWorks, Reliance Entertainment

All aboard. In July of 2013, Rachel Watson is a female on a locomotive, a.k.a. a girl on a train. She rides the commuter rail to and from London every day for work (or so she says). While on the train, Rachel engages in hardcore people-watching and conjures up a perfect fantasy life for one couple she is totally obsessed with. Rachel calls them Jason and Jess, and the train stops outside their house every morning.

This golden couple lives on the same street Rachel used to… before she failed to get pregnant, started drinking, and her husband cheated on her and divorced her. Ouch. No wonder she wants to pretend someone out there has a perfect life. Hers is far from it.

But this couple isn’t perfect. Rachel soon sees Jess smooching a man who isn’t her husband, and then a few days later, Jess disappears. Jess and Jason are really named Megan and Scott. When no newspapers mention the man Megan was having an affair with, Rachel decides to contact Scott and tell him that she saw his wife kissing another man.

Together, Rachel and Scott learn the man’s identity: It’s Dr. Kamal Abdic, Megan’s therapist. Whoa. The doctor is called in for questioning by the police but he denies have an affair with Megan. Is he telling the truth? Scott and Rachel still suspect Dr. Abdic, so Rachel goes to him for therapy to see if he acts guilty. He doesn’t act guilty. And he turns out to be a pretty good therapist to boot, helping Rachel confront her drinking problem and her memory loss.

Rachel remembers being in the neighborhood the night Megan went missing. The problem is that Rachel was totally drunk and doesn’t remember anything beyond that. She had a blackout in the underpass, so her memory is one big black hole. Rachel’s roommate, Cathy, disapproves of Rachel’s drinking problem, and gets even angrier at her when she realizes that Rachel lost her job months ago. All those train rides to and from London are just her pretending she still has a job. Maybe she should be applying to jobs instead of riding the train…


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