Friday, June 23, 2017

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I may have enjoyed this book more than The Girl on the Train...probably because it deals with the struggle between strong women and the misogynistic culture that tries to keep them down.

"The Drowning Pool" is an infamous spot in the river that flows along the town of Beckford, England. Over the centuries, "troublesome" women have met their end there. Some of the deaths were ruled suicides, but were they?

Nel Abbott and Jules Abbott are estranged sisters- forced apart by jealousy and misunderstandings. When Jules is notified that Nel has died- jumped from the cliffs to her death in the river- Jules is forced to return to Beckford and face her past.

Nel isn't the only one to have perished in the river lately. A 15 year old girl named Katie has also inexplicably jumped into its depths to embrace death.

So, what about this river seduces women to end their lives there? Are they all really jumping or is something far more nefarious at work?

Why is it that strong women- the kind who know their own minds- are the ones who wind up dead?

This novel left me guessing until the end. Not all of the questions are answered. This is the kind of book you should read twice just to enjoy the epiphanies that come from knowing the ending and seeing all the clues the author left along the way.

Recommended for ages 15+ because of content.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel made me squirm.

It wasn't the suspense. It wasn't the darkness. It was the characters.

Oh- they are some of the crappiest people you will ever meet.

When the weak-willed, self-loathing alcoholic is actually the most redeemable character in a novel- it puts into perspective how low the others truly are. Their negative traits range from mild self-absorption, and superficiality, to complete narcissistic sociopathy.

That being said- I LOVED this book. I was never bored. The writing is well done. The story has just enough intrigue that it took me an acceptable amount of time before I figured out the "whodunit."

I love how Hawkins made me despise some characters and then, eventually, love and sympathize with them.

So, the gist. I cannot tell you much without spoiling things. The story takes place in modern day England- not too far from London. A woman, named Rachel, spends every morning and evening riding the train commuting to and from London. Part of the route takes her past a house with a married couple that Rachel fantasizes are the most perfect, loving, couple possible. This route also takes her past her former home- where her ex-husband now lives with his new wife.

Rachel is NOT over her husband. She is basically wrecked over the affair which ended her marriage.
So, to cope, Rachel's spends a lot of time wondering about the wonderful life of the couple she sees from the train. She voyueristically obsesses over them- until the day she sees the wife kissing another man. Shortly after that, the wife goes missing.

What Rachel doesn't know is how intertwined all the players in this story actually are and how little her fantasies reflect reality.

She also doesn't realize how crappy people can be.

This story has various love triangles which sort of morph into indescribable shapes. Blame is suspected from many corners until it becomes frighteningly clear. Hawkins really keeps you guessing for a bit.

This was a great read!
Ages 15+ for content.