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The Girl On The Train-Book Review

Most novels that suddenly gain a surge of attention are not worth reading. However, it is glaringly obvious that sometimes a novel CAN live up to the hype it causes. I tested this theory on The Girl On The Train. The Girl On The Train was a hit last summer, seemingly coming out of nowhere. This the first Thriller by the author Paula Hawkins.

Rachel takes the same 8:04 train every day, commuting to and from London, sipping her gin and tonic out of a can. Along the way she passes a line of cosy suburban homes. Glancing out the window at the stop sign, each day she glimpses into the lives of a couple, who she has named “Jess and Jason”. They have a picture perfect life-or so she imagines- and she likes to watch them, partly because she cannot bare to look a couple doors down to Number 23 Blenheim Road. The road where she used to live. Where her ex-husband and new girlfriend, new child now live. This is where the novels plot gets interesting. On a Friday morning Rachel sees another man “kissing” Jess and the next evening she is reported missing.

On the same Saturday Rachel drunkenly arrives at Bleheim Road and the next morning can not remember a thing. Has she played a vital role in the disappearance of her ‘Jess’ who is later identified as Megan Hipwell. The novel follows Rachel trying to establish what happened the night she was blacked out and quickly becomes a thriller which explores strained and dark relationships, jealousy, betrayal and flawed personalities.

The biggest intrigue that sustains you throughout this novel is the main narrator, Rachel. She is an alcoholic, a flawed narrator who suffers from blackouts. To be frank she is not the nicest person, obsessively calling her ex husband drunk and constantly lying to those around her like her Mom and in particular, her flatmate Cathy. However as the novel progresses, in spite of all this, as a reader, you want her to find out the truth. Perhaps this is because the majority of the narrative stems from her point of view: or the fact that her character is so cleverly written by Hawkins that for all Rachel’s flaws we can not help but believe her intuition when she feels something is not right. Or perhaps it is because Hawkins thriller focuses on five main characters, all of whom have lied at some point and have deep rooted issues, which act as a predominate character feature. There is Rachel, the seemingly mad alcoholic: No job, no real friends or ties with the outside world. Anna, the woman who gets thrills from having an affair and Megan who is unstable, with a hidden past which triggers the events of the novel.

Though perhaps the most terrifying focus of the novel is the portrayal of the male characters. Unlike the women, who Hawkins makes clear that are flawed from the start, the men are treated differently. When the novel begins, we are given the impression that Tom (other than having an affair) is a sympathetic man who put up with all the harassment a drunken Rachel gives him. Right until almost the very end I was convinced that he was the only character in the novel with some sort of a ‘normal’ life. That is what made the shock that *SPOILER ALERT* Tom was the murderer even more terrifying. He seems to be the only one I was rooting to have a happy ending throughout the novel. Which perhaps illustrates the genius of Hawkins’s writing. At the beginning Scott’s character seemed to be that of a mournful husband. However throughout the novel cracks in his personality started to appear, commencing in his attack on Rachel and locks her in a room.

One of the major themes running throughout the novel is betrayal. Betrayal which is conducted at some point by almost all the characters. Rachel’s ex husband’s betrayal of cheating on her with Anna. Tom’s betrayal of Rachel, as it is revealed that unlike the perfect husband that is portrayed at the beginning of the novel, he is eventually found out to be a sociopathic liar, using  Rachel’s alcoholism to cover his disturbing nature.

The Girl On The Train gripped me from the beginning, and once I thought I had figured out who was guilty, or who I did not like, the pace of the narrative along with my conclusions quickly changed. Non of the characters are particularly likeable, but somehow the story is still emotionally gripping. I cannot wait to read Hawkins’s next novel, and this time I won’t wait until the fuss has died down to read it!




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Day 3: My favourite Quote

I am a self-confessed lover of quotes, so there is so many that I could choose from. However, I would say my favourite quote comes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:take him

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Day 2: 20 Facts about me

1) I am a 3rd year Drama and English Literature student,

2)I am the only student in my year currently doing this exact course.

3) I have a twin brother named Martin.

4)I used to have a pig obsession, I had over 100 cuddly toy pigs in my room and I stopped eating pork because of it

.5) I’m a fussy eater, basically the only meat I eat is chicken.

6) I love reading, particularly horror and romance (polar opposites, some may say.)

7) Im an Aries

8) I not religious as such up open to the idea of spirits

9)When I was a baby I was on the National Lottery

10)My favourite colour is baby blue.

11) I ate so many maltesers at Christmas when I was 10 I did not eat any for 5 years after.

12)I have a cat, her name is Ebony.

13) I’m scared of dogs.

14) My favourite novel is One Day by David Nicholls.

15) I work at Sports Direct, and yes, I hate it.

16) My favourite film is Dirty Dancing, although I hate the theatre version.

17) When I was younger I wanted to be a teacher

18) I try and be as spontaneous as I can be

19) My favourite time of year is Christmas, I don’t think I will ever not have Christmas spirit!

20) I love to act.

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Day 1: My Blog’s Name

I guess my blog’s name took a while to come about. At first I wanted a blog’s name about what predominately I wanted to write about. So I started listing off all the things that I would be writing about, books, films, quotes, moments in my life, random facts, things I notice on a day to day basis.

Looking back at the list I had wrote I started to come up with a way to put all these things together…without much success. Did I really want my blog to be called something along the lines of BooksMoviesGlimpsesofmylife etc, ect? No.

So instead I started thinking about what I wanted to achieve from my blog and what I wanted people to think when they read my entries. As simple as it sounds my main aim was to make people smile and brighten up someone’s day (even if it is for 5 minutes.)

So I thought of bright happy things and wanted a name that would stand out, shiny things stand out and make people happy.

So why not a shimmer of happiness as what I wanted people to feel when they saw my blog. It was then it was decided, and A Shimmer of Happiness came to be.

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Blog Challenge? Accepted.

As I am fairly new to this whole blogging thing a friend mentioned to me that one interesting way of getting used to blogging would be to complete a 30 day blog challenge. At first I questioned whether I would actually keep it up but I am determined so I thought why not?

So here is one I found and I will try and do it to the best of my ability. Here we go, Day One will start tomorrow…

30 day blogger challenge

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As the nights draw in, here come the films!

Hello there, this is my first blog so I thought I would start with a little something to tell you all what I am looking forward to seeing in the cinema in the next month or so, hope you enjoy it!

November, a month either loved or loathed by many. To some, all they see is cold, dark nights, where they are forced to stay in doors and a time to turn into somewhat of a recluse in their homes. For others November offers the excitement of Bonfire night, big cosy jumpers, warm fires and dare I say it? Yes the big C word (CHRISTMAS).

However to me November is not known for any of that. I love this time of year, why you ask? I see this time of year as the return of the big film franchises. They give us a film then make us wait a whooleee year until the next one comes out. Fair? I think not.

First to come is the long-anticipated first part of the final instalment of the Hunger Games trilogy: The Hunger Games: Mocking jay, which is out in the UK on the 20th of November. The Hunger Games are over and now it is time for Katniess tsave her nation and Peter. hungerganmes

If there is one thing movie producers are good at its making film fanatics wait for the next movie!

However the highlight for the next franchised film for me has to be The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. The audience were left in suspense after Smaug escaped, who can forget of course “I AM FIRE, I AM DEATH”. Which personally for me is one of the most gripping cliff hangers that has been offered from a movie franchise in recent years. For those like myself, who have not read the novels, we have been left to wait a year to see what destruction will be caused.

Coming soon will be my reviews on these two films, so for now I’m out!