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Risk Return (Return on Investment Book 2)
Aleksandr Voinov
Paul Markun
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace
Patrizia Collard

heavy drinking ahead

Dziewczyna z pociÄ…gu - Paula Hawkins

4 1/2 stars. There's a reason this is such a popular book this year, it's a good old fashioned page turner. I actually read this earlier this year and I decided to listen to the audio for an upcoming bookclub meeting. I think I enjoyed it more the second time around because it gave me opportunity to study the characters a bit more. TGOTT is ostensibly a who-done-it suspense read, however, it's the characters that make it engaging. Especially Rachel. God bless Rachel, she just can't help herself.

I love a good literary drunk. As much as heavy drinking is portrayed in fiction, most authors really don't capture it well. More often than not, characters drink to excess with little or no consequence. Maybe there is mention of a hangover, but rarely do characters drunk dial, break things, or hurt themselves, all common foibles associated with heavy drinking. For anyone who has dealt with alcohol abuse on one way or another (and who hasn't?) you know there is constant struggle, constant regret, and constant rationalization happening. By the way, if you are fortunate enough to have not experienced this, I recommend Drinking: A Love Story.

So back to Rachel. Rachel is an alcoholic, and that plays a major role in the book. Even when she's not drinking, her addiction drives her. Some of her decisions and actions are embarrassingly painful to watch. Man oh man, did this author nail Rachel's struggle. On the surface, Rachel is seen as pathetic, washed up, and unstable. Rachel's drinking is fodder for the smugness found in the other characters, especially Anna. This is how everyone perceives Rachel, the quintessential unreliable narrator:
But what is really important, for which I applaud the author, is that she does have good qualities and she isn't a lost cause, she is human.

I'm not going to go into the mystery or other characters other than to say that they are all pretty unlikable, which for this sort of book is a really good thing.