The Girl on the Train

by

Paula Hawkins

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Dr. Kamal Abdic Character Analysis

Kamal Abdic is a Muslim refugee from Bosnia working as a therapist in Witney, a suburb of London. When he begins seeing Megan Hipwell as a patient, Kamal is determined to help the troubled, restless young Megan unspool the traumas of her past and make sense of how they’re impacting her in the present. Together, they work through Megan’s sense of self; her marriage to her husband, Scott; and her relentless need for male attention and approval. Abdic is a quiet, soft-spoken man who does his best to resist Megan’s quickly-growing romantic feelings for him, as acting upon them could lose him his practice. When Megan mysteriously disappears, Abdic is briefly detained as a suspect after Rachel tells Scott that she saw Megan and Abdic embracing on the terrace of the Hipwell house one morning. But with insufficient evidence tying him to Megan’s case, he’s soon released. Rachel, still suspicious of the man, decides to start attending appointments of her own with him—but during each therapy session, Rachel finds herself more and more comfortable with Abdic. She eventually confiding in him about her failed marriage; her struggles with infertility; and her sneaking suspicion that her ex-husband, Tom, lied about Rachel’s actions during her drunken blackouts. Sensitive, thoughtful, and deeply invested in his patients’ well-being, Kamal Abdic is a man who finds himself swept up in a maelstrom of secrets and lies.

Dr. Kamal Abdic Quotes in The Girl on the Train

The The Girl on the Train quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Kamal Abdic or refer to Dr. Kamal Abdic. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women and Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead edition of The Girl on the Train published in 2015.
Megan: Six Quotes

"I fell asleep," I say, and then I can't say any more, because I can feel her again, no longer on my chest, her body wedged between my arm and the edge of the tub, her face in the water. We were both so cold.

Related Characters: Megan Hipwell / “Jess” (speaker), Libby, Dr. Kamal Abdic
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:
Megan: Seven Quotes

I'm just turning to walk to the station when a man comes running along the pavement, earphones on, head down. He's heading straight for me, and as I step back, trying to get out of the way, I slip off the edge of the pavement and fall.

The man doesn't apologize, he doesn't even look back at me, and I'm too shocked to cry out. I get to my feet and stand there, leaning against a car, trying to catch my breath.

Related Characters: Megan Hipwell / “Jess” (speaker), Dr. Kamal Abdic
Related Symbols: Trains
Page Number: 214-215
Explanation and Analysis:
Rachel: Thirteen Quotes

“Every time I passed that hole in the wall I thought about it. Tom said he was going to patch it up, but he didn't, and I didn't want to pester him about it. One day I was standing there […] and I […] remembered. I was on the floor, my back to the wall, sobbing and sobbing, Tom standing over me, begging me to calm down, the golf club on the carpet next to my feet, and I felt it, I felt it. I was terrified. The memory doesn't fit with the reality, because I don't remember anger, raging fury. I remember fear."

Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Kamal Abdic Character Timeline in The Girl on the Train

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Kamal Abdic appears in The Girl on the Train. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Megan: One
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
After a long wait at the office, Megan finally meets with her new therapist: Dr. Kamal Abdic. Throughout the introductory appointment, Megan finds herself deeply attracted to the handsome therapist. As... (full context)
Megan: Two
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...night, she left Scott alone in bed to call her therapist on the phone, but Abdic didn’t answer. Now, Megan decides to go inside and get ready to go to a... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...has been on her computer, no doubt searching through her browser history and emails. Dr. Abdic has suggested Megan keep a diary of her feelings—but she knows she can’t, not without... (full context)
Megan: Three
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...is dreading having to go out to therapy later this afternoon. After talking with Dr. Abdic about her restlessness, her marriage, and the loss of her brother, Megan feels that she’s... (full context)
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
In therapy, Megan tells Kamal about how she met Mac while living in Ipswich as a runaway after Ben’s death.... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...was headed to the cinema with Tara again. In a recent therapy session, Megan told Kamal about Scott’s need to keep tabs on her—and the fight he picked when he realized... (full context)
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Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
At the end of the session with Kamal, Megan recalls, she asked him out for a drink. When he said it wouldn’t be... (full context)
Rachel: Six
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...said Rajesh was not the man she saw. Scott then pulled up a picture of Kamal Abdic, Megan’s therapist, on his computer—and Rachel confirmed that Abdic was the man she saw... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...her help the day before. He tells Rachel that he mentioned the tip about Dr. Abdic to Riley—but he left Rachel’s name out of it. Scott seems to truly believe that... (full context)
Megan: Five
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...agitated and out of breath, having ignored Scott’s calls all afternoon. When she walks into Kamal Abdic’s office, she puts her hands on his chest. The doctor tells her what she’s... (full context)
Rachel: Seven
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...and police have been swarming the area—but he confirmed that the police had arrested Dr. Abdic. Scott trembled as he confided in Rachel that he had been waiting by the phone... (full context)
Rachel: Eight
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...news. She is disappointed when there are no new articles about Megan’s disappearance or about Kamal Abdic. Rachel knows from yesterday’s news that there has been “evidence” discovered at Abdic’s home.... (full context)
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...wine. She drinks a whole bottle in front of the TV before more news about Abdic comes in: he has been released without charge due to insufficient evidence. Rachel is shocked.... (full context)
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...her therapist—but that as an unreliable witness, she was unable to convince the authorities of Abdic’s involvement. Tom tells Rachel that she did the right thing in coming forward, and then... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...Scott makes tea while Rachel apologizes again for misleading him and expresses her condolences about Abdic not being charged. Scott insists that while authorities found evidence of Megan’s presence in Abdic’s... (full context)
Megan: Six
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...evening, while Scott thinks that Megan is at the movies with Tara, Megan goes to Kamal’s house and knocks on the door. He is surprised but not unhappy to see her,... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
Megan tells Kamal about moving into Mac’s isolated cottage near the sea. Days would go by without the... (full context)
Rachel: Ten
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...problems to him—he has real issues, and he’s still being treated as a suspect because Abdic told authorities that Scott was emotionally abusive. Scott kicks a chair in anger as he... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...anything. On the train home, Rachel realizes that perhaps with the help of a therapist—like Kamal Abdic—she could recover her memories.  (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Thursday, August 6, 2013. Rachel has an appointment this afternoon at 4:30 to see Kamal Abdic. She was so excited last night that she could barely sleep. Rachel is desperate... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Later, as Rachel prepares to board the train home, she reflects on her afternoon at Abdic’s office. She recalls the fear and anxiety she felt as she entered the practice—she was... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...drinking was what drove him away. Rachel began crying, but she refused to talk with Abdic about her struggles with infertility. Abdic suggested that they discuss more next time. Rachel left... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...She gets lost in thought about the reality of her life—her entanglements with Scott and Kamal, her struggles to get sober—when suddenly, she spots a paper at a newsstand whose headline... (full context)
Rachel: Eleven
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...Scott about the story—but Scott knows very little about Megan’s past. He believes the “disturbed” Abdic leaked the story to keep the heat off of himself. (full context)
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Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
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Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
Thursday, August 8, 2013. In the morning, Rachel goes to yet another appointment at Abdic’s office. On her way, she vows to be honest with him. During the session she... (full context)
Megan: Seven
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
Thursday, June 20, 2013. Megan is back at Kamal’s house. He pours her a glass of wine, snuggles against her, and asks her to... (full context)
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Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...that she believes Mac is dead—she has a strange sense that he’s not around anymore. Kamal suggests Megan try to contact him to find out if he’s alive—and if he can... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
...conversation finished, Megan prepares to head home. On her way out the door, Megan asks Kamal if she can see him again. Kamal, however, insists that they must do the right... (full context)
Rachel: Thirteen
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...bothers Rachel all morning as she rides the train into Witney for her appointment with Abdic. Rachel wishes that she could tell him about her dream, but she’s afraid of revealing... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Abdic asks if there’s a specific memory Rachel wants to recall. She tells him about a... (full context)
Rachel: Fourteen
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...DNA tests done on Megan’s fetus have come back: the child was neither Scott’s nor Kamal’s, meaning that Megan was seeing someone else. Scott angrily asks if Megan confided in Rachel... (full context)
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...arguing. Rachel insists she only wanted to help the bereaved Scott by informing him about Kamal, but Scott accuses Rachel of being “insane.” He says that Riley asked him if he... (full context)
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Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
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Scott accuses Rachel of bringing information about him to Abdic and the authorities. Rachel insists, again, that she wants only to help Scott. She begs... (full context)
Megan: Eight
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...Scott will guess that the child isn’t his. Megan is standing in the kitchen with Kamal, the only person she’s told about the pregnancy. She confides that she is afraid something... (full context)
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Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
Megan goes outside to the terrace, and Kamal brings her a coffee and kisses her as a train rumbles up to the signal.... (full context)