Sunday, 3 July 2016

What I'm Reading: The Girl on the Train

Google Images

I read this a while ago while on holiday. I had a lot of talk about the book and the upcoming film, a lot of hype. Perhaps this is why I had an expectation already formed when I opened the first page. Personally, I could not connect with the way the book was written or the main character. Having said that, I needed to read it through to the end to find out what happens and what a twist! I thought the explanation towards the end of the book was really clever.

If you haven't read the book and want to, you may not want to read further.

The book highlights two important issues, I feel; domestic abuse and substance abuse. The main character, Rachel, uses alcohol to numb her negative feelings, which the reader is led to believe are around the break up of her marriage and her inability to become a mother. However, as the story progresses she has also used alcohol to block out the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband. A key factor in her unravelling the murder mystery. What really caught me was the manipulation of the murderer and abuser, I, as a reader, did not pick up on, I would be interested to know if other readers recognise it.

There is also a lot of judgement of Rachel due to her substance misuse and the impact her drinking has on all areas of her life; work and friendships as well as her own health. I grew up in a family who appeared to have quite judgemental views of those who misuse substances and subsequently end up homeless, those were the views I listened to and thought I had too. That was until I undertook a student placement in an organisation who supported individuals in their recovery. I listened and learnt a lot about the reasons people may start taking drugs or drinking alcohol. Developing an understanding of why, did help me develop some empathy and compassion. The reasons why are not excuses, however, they can be painful experiences that people need support with to work through and find healthier ways to manage.

Have you read the book, what were your thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment