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“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

Mystery, Obsession, and Betrayal

By Kristiyan ParzulovPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

A psychological thriller called “The Girl on the Train” centers on the intertwined lives of three women and their secrets. The main action of the narrative takes place in London, and it is told from the perspectives of three different women: Rachel, Anna, and Megan.

Rachel Watson

The story’s lead character, Rachel Watson, is a troubled individual who goes daily by train. She is an alcoholic, estranged, and divorced. Since her marriage ended, her life has gotten out of control, and she is haunted by her fascination with her ex-husband Tom, and his new wife Anna. She commutes by train every day, passing past her old home and getting glimpses of her former existence.

Anna Watson

Tom, Rachel’s ex-husband, is currently married to Anna Watson. She resides in the same home that Rachel used to call her own, making her more envious and resentful of her. As a result of Rachel’s infatuation with the pair, she drinks excessively and views Anna as a home wrecker.

Megan Hipwell

Rachel observes Megan Hipwell from the train as she and her husband, Scott, appear to have the ideal existence. But Megan also has her own dark secrets, including a troubled past and extramarital encounters that put her stability in jeopardy. When Megan abruptly vanishes, Rachel’s life takes a drastic change, and she becomes involved in the case of Megan’s disappearance.

The three women’s stories alternate in the book’s storyline, giving readers a glimpse into their ideas, pasts, and darkest secrets. When Rachel witnesses something odd on her regular train journey, the narrative picks up steam. She once notices Megan being held by a stranger, which sets off a series of events that result in Megan’s disappearance.

The novel examines issues of memory, manipulation, obsession, and the fallibility of perception as the plot progresses. The individuals battle their own inner demons as the web of lies and betrayal that surrounds their lives deepens.

Key Plot Points

Megan’s Disappearance

The sudden disappearance of Megan Hipwell is the book’s main mystery. Finding out what really happened to Megan drives Rachel, who has been observing her from the train to obsession. She is dragged into a world of secrets and deception as she investigates.

Rachel’s Instability

Rachel is an unreliable narrator due to her drinking and unwillingness to move on from her failed marriage. Her violent behavior is fueled by her fixation with Tom, her ex-husband, and Anna. She struggles to tell reality from her own imagination due to her hazy memory and drinking addiction.

Megan’s Secrets

Trauma and mistakes abound in Megan’s past. She is not as perfect as she seems on the surface, as the tale reveals when it delves into her past. The mystery gradually comes to light thanks in large part to her own secrets.

Anna’s Perspective

At the start of the novel, the other woman is introduced as Anna, who has taken the position of Rachel in Tom’s life. But as the story goes on, her character develops, showing her own vulnerabilities and her battles with Rachel’s devotion.

Multiple Timelines

The novel’s format discloses events from various timelines, leading the reader to doubt the narrator’s objectivity. This tactic maintains the tension high and gives the characters’ backstories more nuance.

Twists and Turns

The book takes unexpected turns as the stories of Rachel, Anna, and Megan interweave, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. The narrative frequently questions the readers’ presumptions regarding the characters and their intentions.


As the truth about Megan’s abduction and the many characters’ participation in the events leading up to it is ultimately disclosed, the story reaches a dramatic finale. The mysteries are resolved, and readers feel that justice has been done as a result.


Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train” is a gripping and psychological investigation into the lives of three women who are entwined by lies, obsession, and betrayal. The book’s unreliable narrators and intricate, intriguing plot keep readers interested. It explores issues like addiction, the brittleness of memory, and the results of acts. Paula Hawkins creates a compelling story that connects with readers and goes on to become a best-seller and successful movie adaptation.

If you enjoyed my summary then you should definitely check out the full book here.

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About the Creator

Kristiyan Parzulov

I Give my Personal Book Reviews 👏👏 of the Most Popular Bestsellers!

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