I saw The House Theatre’s "United Flight 232" a few months ago, the story of an airplane crash told through interviews. Interviews with people on the doomed flight—flight attendants, passengers, pilots—created the script. It’s a fascinating story of hope and terror. The verbatim text from the interviews knotted together the tension, emotion, and immediacy. The audience was part of their event. Albeit in the safety of a theater, not in the grip of staring down death.
This comes to mind because braiding stories together is a tried-and-true way to add dimension and appeal. And I thought about all of this while reading “The Girl on the Train”.
Told from three different perspectives, the three women control the narrative throughout “The Girl on the Train”. Yet, the men they love (and lost) were so present, the story felt fleshed out from all angles. Particularly because one of the men - spoiler alert - is a pro at gaslighting, a process of manipulating someone by convincing them to question their own sanity.
I’m typically not a mystery gal, but a handful of pages in, I knew I’d see this one to the end.
Reading “The Girl on the Train” was a reminder of the strength of multiple viewpoints and unreliable narrators. Because, really, aren’t both of those true of stories in everyday life?
** Throughout 2018, I’ll be reading a book a week and posting about each book here. I’m not promising any revelations, just my musings. And a record, for me, of each read. Happy New Year!
Mali Anderson is a Chicago-based content creator. She creates blog posts, web copy, original photography, and feature articles.