It is remarkable and rare that an author’s first book, on its first week out, hits the # 1 spot on the fiction best-seller lists, such as the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon.com, and the Wall Street Journal. Yet, that is where The Girl on The Train (New York: Riverhead Books, 2015) by Paula Hawkins finds itself.
Who is Paula Hawkins? We don’t know much about her. First, be sure you understand this is not the Republican senator with the same name. Hawkins lives in London, and worked as a journalist for fifteen years before writing her first fictional book. She was born and raised in Zimbabwe. In 1989, she moved to London and has stayed there ever since.
What is the book about? Here is what her Facebook page says about it:
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.
You can read a review of the book from the New York Times by clicking here. It has already been translated and published in numerous languages. The book has been optioned for film by Dreamworks. Note: It is easy to get confused. You will find this same title used on several previous books and movies.
To say that it is “selling like hotcakes” would be accurate. The book is receiving massive publicity in papers and talk shows throughout the country.
You should get it, read it, and react to it, before you hear all about it from someone.