Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Girl on the Train: Introduction
The Girl on the Train: Plot Summary
The Girl on the Train: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Girl on the Train: Themes
The Girl on the Train: Quotes
The Girl on the Train: Characters
The Girl on the Train: Symbols
The Girl on the Train: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Paula Hawkins
Historical Context of The Girl on the Train
Other Books Related to The Girl on the Train
- Full Title: The Girl on the Train
- Where Written: London, England
- When Published: 2015
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Thriller
- Setting: London, England; the suburbs of Witney and Ashbury near Oxford, England
- Climax: Rachel attacks her murderous ex-husband Tom in an act of self-defense. Tom’s new wife, Anna—equally hurt and disillusioned by his lies—aids Rachel in delivering the final blow.
- Antagonist: Tom Watson
- Point of View: First Person, rotating between the perspectives of Rachel, Megan, and Anna
Extra Credit for The Girl on the Train
Nom De Plume. Before breaking into the thriller genre, Paula Hawkins honed her novel-writing skills penning four romance novels under the name Amy Silver. In spite of the vast differences between the genres, “Amy’s” early romance titles explore many of the same themes as her contemporary mysteries.
What’s In a Name? Rachel Watson, the primary protagonist and narrator of the novel, is somewhat of an amateur detective. Uncoincidentally, shares a surname with one of the most famous detectives in literature: Dr. John Watson, roommate and sidekick of Sherlock Holmes.