Feb 3, 2015

A Lifetime Ago. 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins.

It feels like the last time I wrote on the blog was a whole lifetime away, not just a few days.  So much has happened and so much has changed in such a short space of time.  And it's all, rather frustratingly, been difficult to put into words.  But I'll try.

If we can backtrack to my last post about Sephora.

The day ended with a toast to new beginnings and old friendships.  As our adult lives get so much busier with the needs of others, my girlfriends and I never seem to get the time to talk face to face as often as we would like.  I was so grateful for the chance to have a drink with a friend who was in Sydney for a few days.  I was blessed again over the weekend when chance brought another close friend and I to the same shopping centre on the same day and at the same time.  

I've also had to say goodbye to people and places close to my heart.  

I started a new job yesterday which has meant that last week was one of 'lasts'.  Last lunches out together, last coffee runs, last shared moments of work related randomness that only your colleagues can ever fully understand and that last sad drive out of the work car park.  And then there was the air of finality in handing over security passes and signing off of all the exit paperwork.  I think I has a little cry most days of that last week.

It's one of the ironies of life that you only fully appreciate what your workplace means to you when you leave it for that last time.  All this time I've never thought more deeply than having a great sense of belonging in a place where I had made friends with the people I'd worked with and also learned much from and been humbled by the people we worked together to care for.  

It is only now that I've left that I realise that my colleagues and I weren't 'just work friends' to each other.  Rather, we've all developed a genuine respect for each other in both a professional and personal sense that will stay within each of us forever.  So while I am sad to have left, I am also happy that we had the chance to work as well together as we did and I'm also excited about my new job.

And here I am at the new job.  Revisiting old haunts and making sure that my corner of the office isn't just inhabited but well and truly lived in.  It took me four trips with a wheelie cart to get my stuff into the office and I've still got four enviro shopping bags to lug in.  And my pot plants...

Earrings - Andromeda by The Jewel Collective, necklace - Red Phoenix Emporium, bag - Mulberry 'Bayswater', skirt - Boden.

In true SSG style, though, I've managed to keep my priorities priorities as all about me is changing.  I've been accessorising with the help of my friends at The Jewel Collective and Red Phoenix Emporium and losing myself in unputdownable reads.

'The Girl on the Train' was recommended to me by Twitter and Cilla after I'd burned myself with a series of dodgy Kindle downloads (a memoir about Australian breakfast television and another about a high class escort / journalist / yummy mummy - what was I thinking?!?!).  

You must read 'The Girl on the Train' if you haven't already.  It has been cleverly described as a cross between 'Gone Girl' and 'Rear Window' which pretty much says it all.  The novel begins from the point of view of Rachel, an alcoholic who hasn't quite gotten her ex husband out of her heart or mind (she still uses his surname) who doesn't seem to have much going for her.  Pretending that she still has her job, she catches the train back and forth across her town, sometimes sneaking a canned pre mixed alcoholic beverage as she does so (okay to do on Fridays, in her book, but not so much so on the other days of the week).

As she rides, she gets a great view of the backyards of the houses that line the train tracks.  One couple catches her fancy and she dreams up new names, lives and possibilities for the perfect looking pair.  It's all harmless in the context of her own loss and misery but one day, 'Jess' seems to be kissing another man and then she appears to have gone missing.

The story makes the papers and Rachel presents herself as a very unreliable witness to the police and then 'Jess's' husband.  The story unfolds with Rachel's ex husband Tom and his new wife Anna being drawn into the plot.  Jess is revealed to be Megan who has secrets of her own and a relationship with Tom and Anna.  If you want the deep and meaningful analysis of their relationships, this is a link to a book review and chat which contains spoilers.

Paula Hawkins writes a well paced suspense novel and her skilful development of each character's past really makes it difficult to put the book down or resort to googling spoilers if it's way past your bedtime and you really, really, really must find out what happens next.


I'm eagerly awaiting Paula's next novel.  More so than the Fifty Shades film.... which is meant to be coming out in Australia on February 12.  But that's just me..

Perhaps someone will make a film based on 'The Girl on the Train'?


  1. Thanks for the book tip, I'm always on the hunt for something new to read. Good luck with the new job. T

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. It would translate to a film well.
    Oooh has Paula Hawkins got another book coming out????
    Hope you got through last week ok and are going well xx

  3. I just finished The Girl on the Train and I found it very confronting, very well written but it made me very uneasy. I hope if a film is made they do justice to the character of Rachel and not try to glam her up. Congrats on the new job.


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