I know, it’s been a while since I talked about a book, and I think I’m done with the hiatus stuff I prattled about earlier. Months? I can’t stay away from writing for a month, let alone a few days.
Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is-
I finally finished reading a book (hurray!) and here I am, all set to bore your minds.
Okay, on a serious note, don’t take what I said before seriously. I’m not that boring, am I? Never mind. Let’s just get on with it.
Psst! This isn’t really a ‘book review’. I write whatever comes into my mind whenever I think about a book I’ve recently finished reading. Cheers!
I love trains. Dad and I have the same passion for trains. He probably loves them a little more than I do.
As a kid, my father always made sure that we travelled by train when the journey could have been a lot more shorter and less tiring with a plane. And, I’m grateful for that.
There are so many stories of my own from all the train journeys I’ve had so far. Thinking about them brings a smile to my face.
However, it also pains me to think about all the people with whom I struck a strong cordial relationship during the journey. It makes me wonder if they remember me at all, or look back at those times just as I’m doing right now. That little girl who’s now grown into a beautiful young woman, does she remember having a silly childish fight with me over a comic? That young man who told me all the stories his creative mind could conjure to put a restless 7 year old kid to rest, does he remember how my small head rested on his lap while listening to him intently and marvelling at the ingenuity of his story’s hero open-mouthed? And, when the train halted in the middle of nowhere with wilderness everywhere, does he remember how I made an attempt to push the train forward while thrusting my little palms onto his seat’s headrest and he laughed, my dad laughed, my mom chuckled, and they all coaxed me into trying harder? Once the train started moving idly, does he remember how I jumped back into the seat, put my head on his lap and went back to staring at the window, at the beauty of the vast fields stretching out, inviting me to run toward them and into the unknown? The old man and woman who were headed to another city to meet their son, do they remember me singing them rather raucous songs? Yet they bore with it, told me I was talented for my age, filled my ears with the kind of appraisals that people usually do with a child and make them believe they are unique, smart, beyond their age, even if it’s not the same.
The bridge so thin that it made me feel like I’d topple over. The thick big trees hiding a world behind them from a child’s predatory eyes for an adventure. The farms and the huts. People looking right back at me from the other end as I rode past them. The train station filled with the aroma of fast food. The time dad and I almost missed the train because I couldn’t decide on which packet of crisps I wanted, but luckily we were quick enough to get on-board, and I’m glad there was a man to pick the tiny me up. My mother and I switching our seats so that I could feel the train dragging me back rather than pushing me forward. I’d do it over and over with her, it felt like a game, and my mother was never once annoyed with this game.
The people and the uncharted places, places that could never make it to the map but somehow managed to leave a mark in my mind’s map. Green. Lush. Brown. Barren. Blue. Dark. Mysterious.
I picked this book up from the rack not for its promising summary, but the five words in white on the cover, ‘The Girl On The Train‘. It sounds silly, ridiculous even, to go for a book without having a look at what the story might be on . I wanted it. I had to make it mine. I was once a girl on a train, and she wanted to hear her side of the story, to be there right beside her, revelling the train rides once more, the train rides I’ve been deprived of for a long time now.
She isn’t disappointed.
For once, I could see the story unfold as if I were an outsider which made it all the more stimulating. I wasn’t Rachel and Rachel wasn’t me. Rachel fantasised about Jess and Jason; I imagined all the possible things Rachel was leading me into.
I am inclined to think that I’m the female protagonist whenever I read a book. I still don’t know why, but I’m speculating it’s because I want to feel whatever she feels, it’s because I want to feel the same zest and the downfall as she does, it’s because I want to feel perfect or get everything perfectly right for once. But, this one time, I didn’t. I didn’t and I already feel like I accomplished something just as Rachel did in the end.
It sounds crazy. That’s one of the things me and Rachel have in common, we sound crazy.
The other thing is- we like to involve ourselves in things that don’t matter to us at all, but we will find a way in by weaving a story that will intertwine with our lives, even if are living in a whole another World. If it’s something that captivates us, we’ll lie to wriggle ourselves in and eventually find ourselves being strangled as the situation gets deeper and darker.
Fine. I raise my hands mentally and admit that I’m just exaggerating. But I’m obliged to confess that I always try to be a part of a story wherever I go, stories that never find themselves in front of the public’s eye, stories that are only enjoyed by the people of the story in their heads, stories that will always remain a mystery to the outsiders, and I wish they weren’t.
This story, on the other hand, tells me that there are dangerous predators with prying eyes and venomous canines that always lurk in the corners, waiting to bite into your sanity and emotionally abuse you without you even realising it. They’ll twist and turn, morph and mangle your thoughts and memories to bring you to your lowest point. They take a delight in that, those insane people with the facade of sane.
There’s a lot a reader can take away with them from this book. There’s so much I could write about, but I wouldn’t want to waste any more of your time if you’re reading this. Honestly, it’s not an excuse for not wanting to write any further.
Now, for the real review!
The book seemed a bit bleak now and then, frustrating as well because I felt the story moving at a much slower pace in few places. Some of the characters can be a bit of an annoyance too. One of them managed to make me shut the book and put it down on my desk with a thud and walk around until my head cooled down. I may sound dramatic, but it did happen.
And that’s how you know it’s a good book. I didn’t even realise I was so invested in the story.
Nevertheless, I wanted to know what happens in the end which made me not want to give up on the book just yet. As much as it was vexing sometimes, for me, it had me at the edge of the seat all along, guessing, and it has excellently accomplished in maintaining the air of mystery and suspense until the climax.
I’m impatient. I have always been short of the much needed patience and passiveness. Maybe you should just pick up the book ASAP and see for yourself and let me know how you found it because-“I’m not the only one who looks now. I don’t suppose I ever was. I suppose that everyone does it-looks out at the houses they pass-only we all see them differently. All saw them differently.” Well, it’s not really the houses we’re talking about here but it works just fine with books too. You get what I mean? That’s a quote by Rachel. It sounds great, doesn’t it?
Chilly, nail-biting, and a breath-taking end. It’s commendable, how the author connected the distinct pieces and wrapped it all up to reveal the unimaginable skilfully.
Exquisitely written. The book satisfies one with a good amount of beautiful poetic quotes that I jotted down in my note-pad.
In the end, trust not what people feed you. They could be true to their words, they could not.
My ratings for the book-3.5/5
I’ll end my review…but not really here (Is there anyone in here who watches Ryan Higa? That’s actually a reference to one of his series on his second Youtube channel.) and you probably have realised by now that I’m pretty poor when it comes to keeping my word. I’ll just slowly walk away from here and leave you to yourself.