This is a story about a woman, Rachael, who loses her job because of her drinking problem, so she spends her days riding the train into London and watching the homes and the people who live along the tracks. One of these homes belongs to her ex-husband, Tom, who's still living there with his new wife, Anna, and their baby. Two houses down live Scott and Megan, who by all appearances live a happy domestic life, until shortly into the story, Megan goes missing.
The book is told from the perspective of the 3 women, all unreliable because they only know so much information, or the author only reveals so much information, or because their life choices (drinking too much, sleeping around, lying to themselves) prevent them from seeing the truth. It's an interesting premise that gets more interesting and a faster read about halfway through the story, as we all try to find out what happened to Megan.
But I didn't love this story. Overall, it's rather dark and creepy, and it's similar to Gone Girl because (1) the reader is never really sure who's telling the truth and (2) it tears apart pretty much all marriages as being filled with lies, pain, or boredom. Rachael is hard to like, as a perpetual drunk who feels way too sorry for herself. Megan is an interesting character with some crazy back story in her past, but we don't see enough of her. And Anna is portrayed oddly, first as meek and submissive, then as jealous and harping, and finally as a wife who sees the truth too late and is torn about what she can do about it.
I did appreciate the narrative structure to a certain extent, and I did keep reading to see what would happen. But I was left feeling at the end much as I did when I finished Gone Girl: like I needed a shower.
Rating: 3.5 stars