Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Character Spotlight: Rachel Watson

Rachel Watson
The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins

Rachel Watson is a character who will make you cringe--over and over again.  We meet her as she sits on a train, watching out the window, waiting for one particular house.  You can tell almost immediately that Rachel is not quite...right.  I’m not giving anything away here because it’s obvious.  In the first pages she tells us that she waits for the short stop of her commuter train behind a row of houses because she likes to watch “Jess and Jason.”  Strangers.  She’s given them names.  And lives.  And conversations.
On her ride back, she talks about being able to drink comfortably because it’s a Friday, and it’s more acceptable.  This is our first sign that Rachel is not always at her best and brightest.  Those suspicions are quickly confirmed as we learn that Rachel is an alcoholic and everything she says may not be completely true.
Rachel also continues to make one bad decision after another--always while she is drinking, but sometimes when she is sober as well.  Rarely do her decisions just jump out at us and surprise us.  Instead there is a lead up where, as readers, you’re willing her to make another choice, fingers crossed that she’ll stop herself.
Rachel Watson is not someone you want in your life.  She’s not someone you necessarily like, but you do want to know if she’ll ever get herself together.  You do want to know if she can keep away from alcohol, find help, tell the truth, and make better decisions--all why she tries to solve mystery that she has inserted herself into.  

Want more of Rachel Watson?  Check out the review of The Girl on The Train.

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