Girl on the Train

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The story of Rachel, Anna, Megan collides in this gripping psychological thriller that is told from each of the woman’s perspective.

When I started listening to this story on Audible I wasn’t quite certain what to think of it or where it would lead or if I liked any one of these ladies.  I will say the story is not beautiful.  It has cuss words and it is dark.  But there is much to be learned from it.  It goes with much of what I have been saying about manipulators and those of you who are in a relationship with such a man/woman I would recommend reading this if for nothing else but perhaps to open your eyes and perhaps to make you understand that the consequences can be tragic.

This of course is fiction but I found Rachel’s journey in particular very gripping.  She is a drunk when we meet her, she is at rock bottom.  She sees herself as ugly and useless, she takes a train back and fourth pretending to go to a job she no longer has.  Here the story begins because here she sees something and here she begins to have a new purpose…here a new resolve comes back to her…a determination is born, and here I begin to love her, because I relate to her struggle, even to her addiction.  Perhaps not to alcohol, but to her depression, to her darkness, to her desperation to be useful.

We find out along the way about Anna, the mistress that became the wife of Tom who was once Rachel’s husband, how they got married.  We get to hear Anna’s voice too, we hate her, we then question if we hate her.

We hear Megan’s voice who is very troubling because she has also gone through so much and of course she is the one the story revolves around, she is the mystery that must be solved.  Who is Megan?  Do we love or hate Megan?

But the moment that I love the most in the book is when Rachel realizes the lie, that one lie that she has been told about herself from the very beginning (spoiler coming), the lie that she was the problem in her marriage, that SHE was the one at fault for EVERYTHING, the lie she readily bought, and when she sees that lie being told to another person…that is the moment I love Rachel very much, because she is strong, she is not weak even though her heart is torn.  THIS is the center of it all, this is what a master manipulator does, and this book does a masterful job of showing us this, how a victim is made and how a victimizer does it all…but through it all a lesson can be learned…how to NOT be a victim, how to understand when someone tries to turn their faults on you, to open your eyes and SEE.  My review for this book is a five star despite the language because of the fact that I think it can bring awareness to this very hard topic.

 

Gone With the Wind

gone with the wind

In the past month or two I had begun to read Gone With the Wind…yes I am ashamed to say that even though I am an avid reader this is a book I had not touched until recently.  I have seen the movie and loved it, but I have not read the book.  Boy!  I was missing out on a lot.  I haven’t finished it yet, but I could not help posting a blog about it.
Firstly I will say that I LOVE the very first line of the book and that is:  “Scarlett O’Hara was not
beautiful, but men seldom realized it when cought by her charm…”  In other words, her personality was so strong that it made her simply irrisistable!  Wow (gives hope to many, right?).  In the first half of the book we see a very selfish and immature Scarlett.  So, that being said I will say that I both love Scarlett and absolutely hate her.I hate how she flaunts herself and flirts
even with men that had previously been drawn to another woman.  She even flirts and draws away men who are interested in her sisters.  Why does she flirt this way?  Simply because she wants to make Ashley jealous, because she thinks she loves Ashley.  I hate how even after Ashley is married to Melanie, she still pursues him, her hear never moves on and thus she is blinded to perhaps true love (Rhett Buttler?….I haven’t gotten that far but remember I have seen the movie so I am guessing at this).
Still, in many ways I can relate to Scarlett as I’m sure that perhaps many women can…  she has a strength about her that is
solid.  A line that is often repeated throughout the book is Scarlett saying that “I will not think about this now, I will think about it tomorrow.”  (This she says anytime a hard or unpleasant thought disturbs her)  Now of course, what we put off to tomorrow tends to accumulate until it one day overwhelms then bursts.  But, this has been how I have thought for the past few years.  When something bad happens, I want to push it aside, I don’t want to think about it.  Even before reading this book I have often absolutely REFUSED to think about certain things.  Grief for one, every time sorrow tries to seep into my heart
about loosing my dad I immediately make myself think about something else…because if I don’t, then I remember the hospital, the tubes, the machines, the unsaid goodbye, the unsaid I love you…and the final breath.  Grief for a lost marrige, because if I think about it I will let anger overtake me when I’d rather forget that abusive last chapter.  Grief for the ‘Tara’ that we have lost when dad died….  That is another way that I feel I can relate to Scarlett.  Often I have said that one day, with God’s help, I will buy back the house we lost when dad died, the house we called ‘Heaven’s Gates’ (our Tara).  Also, I speak my mind just like Scarlett…and often that can be a bad thing.
But for all our similarities there is one similarity I will never have and that is going for a man who 1.) did not make me his number one choice and 2.) who is taken/married….that is one thing I absolutely abhor about Scarlett…she is a fool when it comes to this.  Now about Ashley…well, the man lives in a dream world.  He is intelligent, yet he is a fool.  He loved/loves Scarlett, yet he married Melanie because she was the safe choice and because she fit into his dream world (and that dream world comes crumbling down in the Civil War).  Yet though he chose Melanie he still lusts for Scarlett thus succesfuly not only breaking one heart but two.  I admire his intelligence and love for books and his love for a beautiful easy world…but one cannot live in that world always.  Thus, I do NOT like Ashley.  He is a coward in my eyes, and unfaithful even if he never gives in completely to Scarlett.Melanie, hmm, what can I say about this sweet woman?  She sees the best in everyone, even in selfish, ruthless Scarlett O’hara.  She gives herself completely to those around her.  Rarely does she think of herself…and she loves Ashley so very much.  This woman deserves to be the focal point of the book.  I love her so very much and admire her.  She is clearly described as plain, yet she shines, her heart is full of overflowing love…yet she is never loved as she deserves to be…she is never fully chosen by Ashley (the fool).  Yet she is faithful.  Her body may be weak but her soul is strong, she is the ultimate example of a forgiving person…a person who continualy sacrifices.  Rhett Butler, well we have arived at the character that Scarlett for the longest time calls a ‘skunk of a man’.  I’m not sure what to think of him yet for I haven’t completed the book.
But so far I have mixed feelings about him.  I like him because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, he speaks his mind.  He is mysterious and thus of course…desirable.  Yet, perhaps I don’t like him so much either because he seems to be a bit of a womanizer…although I think in his heart of hearts he only loves Scarlett.  He says he is not a marrying man, yet his interest in
Scarlett does not pass even over a period of years…so perhaps this is a man who can be redeemed, if only Scarlett can finaly learn how to actually love.
These are my thoughts so far of this beautifully intricate book called Gone With the Wind.  What say you?