Hey, babes! I hope you have all been enjoying our latest book club read, The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins! If you haven’t started it yet, it’s not too late… There’s plenty of time to finish before our final discussion next week. For those of you who have been reading along, I told you in our announcement post that we’d be discussing the book up until the end of page 162 today. I have been loving the story so far and I can't help my mind from racing about what may have happened to Megan Hipwell and, really, who was involved in her disappearance. The suspense might actually be killing me. I can’t wait to hear what you guys think, too!
So, in proper #BabesWhoBookClub fashion, today I'm posting some discussion questions about the first half of the book to get the conversation going. Go ahead and take a peek below to see my questions and answers, and be sure to leave your answers in the comments. Just remember: It's totally fine if you read ahead but please, no spoilers! Now let’s get to it…
1. We all do it --- actively watch life around us. In this way, with her own voyeuristic curiosity, Rachel Watson is not so unusual. What do you think accounts for this nosey, all-too-human impulse? Is it more extreme in Rachel than in the average person? What is so different about her?
2. How would you have reacted if you’d seen what Rachel did from her train window --- a pile of clothes --- just before the rumored disappearance of Megan Hipwell? What might you or she have done differently?
3. In both Rachel Watson’s and Megan Hipwell’s marriages, deep secrets are kept from the husbands. Are these marriages unusual or even extreme in this way? Consider how many relationships rely on half-truths? Is it ever necessary or justifiable to lie to someone you love? How much is too much to hide from a partner?
4. What about the lies the characters tell to themselves? In what ways is Rachel lying to herself? Do all people tell themselves lies to some degree in order to move on with their lives? Is what Rachel (or any of the other characters) is doing any different from that? How do her lies ultimately affect her and the people around her?
5. Lastly - for good measure, since we're only halfway through right now: What is your theory about who was involved in Megan Hipwell's disappearance?
1. In my opinion, "actively" watching life and people interact around me is a nice distraction and can be quite entertaining. It's perfectly normal for us to be curious - whether overhearing a private conversation, witnessing a couple interact, or otherwise. I know from personal experience that it's easy to make assumptions when watching people that you don't know interact; like Rachel did when she labeled Megan and Scott a perfect couple. I think that Rachel saw what she wanted to in Megan and Scott's simple interactions from the train and, overtime, she created a life for them in her head that was eerily similar to how her life could have been with her ex-husband.
2. Looking back at that moment, I'm not sure that I would have reacted any differently than Rachel did when she saw the pile of clothes. I may have thought that it was strange or out of place for a moment or two but, there was no other evidence to suggest that it was anything other than a forgotten or discarded pile of clothes in a crowded city.
3. I don't think that either Rachel or Megan's lies to their husbands were justifiable. I think that in both cases, it caused the ruin of their relationships. That being said, I think that there are a lot of people that lie to their significant others; maybe because they don't want to hurt them or because their communication isn't strong enough. A general rule for me would be that if the information being withheld affects your partner in any way, short term or long term, it should be something that they know about.
4. I feel like Rachel lies to herself constantly throughout the book and justifies her actions which is why I believe that she is unable to change. A good example of this is when she tells herself that she didn't do anything wrong when she broke into Anna and Tom's house and ran down to the train tracks with their baby. She always says that her intentions are pure and doesn't accept that she is affecting other people's lives in the process with her drinking and dangerous behavior. In reality, lying to herself is only making it harder for her to move on from her relationship and her failed marriage.
5. For some reason, I have a creepy, gut feeling that Scott and Rachel somehow worked together in the murder of Megan Hipwell. I think that at this point, Rachel doesn't know because of her drunken blackout but, that Scott is fully aware. From their interactions together and the eerie flashbacks to Rachel standing by the underpass with blood on her hands, that is the feeling that I get. My theory (in case you're really curious) is that Rachel went to Megan Hipwell's home that night when she was blacked out because she was furious about seeing her kissing her therapist that morning. I think that Scott found out somehow and the two of them then murdered Megan out of rage. Ah! There you go. Now I need to finish the book to see how wrong I really am.
Now it's your turn to answer the discussion questions! Leave your responses in the comments below and feel free to get the conversation going with your fellow book club babes.
xo Anna Elizabeth
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