You may have read the hype surrounding this chilling novel, or watched the trailer for the highly anticipated movie starring Emily Blunt, but have you actually read the book? I have . . . in a day, and I wasn’t disappointed.
It had been on my to-read-list for months now and I finally purchased it on Monday and basically devoured it in one sitting. It is well laid out; written from the point of view of three different women, with each chapter captioned a different day and sectioned into morning and evening. This allows for each character to get straight to the point with their narrative and leave out meaningless information.
The three women are Rachel, the titular character, Megan and Anna. I don’t want to go into too much detail about Megan and Anna, so I’ll just focus on Rachel.
Monday to Friday Rachel gets the 8.04 train from Ashbury to Euston. She can see into the homes and back gardens of strangers, but no strangers capture her imagination more than the seemingly perfect couple at 15 Blenheim Road. She gives them names, dreams up jobs for them, envisions them to be the epitome of relationships.
But they let her down. On one commute she witnesses something that causes her fantasy to crumble. Rachel is a depressed alcoholic, reeling from her own disastrous life, and what she sees pushes her over the edge. Is there anything she can do? Can she fix it? Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse and Rachel gets herself in so deep in the lives of others that she is viewed as a threat . . . and she, herself, begins to wonder if she’s more involved than she realises.
Despite that fact that Rachel is pathetic, needy, and dependant on alcohol, I found her to be quite likeable. You can understand her depression and accept, to a degree, her actions. She’s lost, she’s vulnerable, but she’s tenacious. Something bad has happened and she’s determined to make it right.
As enjoyable as this novel is, I’m not quite sure if it’s worthy of a movie. It’s a cosy thriller with many a twist and turn, but I – eventually – guessed the ending correctly. In my opinion, it could have made a great miniseries – on par with Dr Foster and Marcella, there are plenty of opportunities for end-of-episode cliffhangers.
All in all, though, it is an enjoyable read and a must for any thriller lover.