cover image The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins, read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher. Penguin Audio, unabridged, 9 CDs, 11 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-1-61176-373-7

Hawkins’s bestseller introduces us to a young woman named Rachel Watson, whose life has been unspooling in the years since her recent divorce. Though alcoholism and a loss of self-worth have left her jobless, she continues to commute to London by train past her old Victorian, where ex-husband Tom now lives with his new wife, Anna, and their baby girl. She also passes her neighbors Megan and Scott Hipwell, who are, in Rachel’s words, “a perfect, golden couple.” When she learns that Megan has gone missing, Rachel has a vague memory of having been in the neighborhood, inebriated, the night of the disappearance. The novel consists of dated entries in the diaries of Rachel, Anna, and Megan, portrayed in this production by a trio of actresses. All three readers perform admirably, and as the novel speeds toward its breathless whodunit conclusion and the diary entries grow shorter and shorter, it almost seems as if readers Corbett and Fisher, following the leads of their characters Rachel and Anna, are one-upping each other to have the story’s last word. A Riverhead hardcover. (Jan.)