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A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.
Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Aushwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks. As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first. Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family. But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered. Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.
In this fictionalized account, Money Mississippi, notorious for the brutal murder of Emmett Till has had a one hundred and eighty-degree turn from its old ways. A mile from the infamous Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market sits a big shiny blue Walmart along an avenue populated with fast food restaurants and a Starbucks. Young black men with pants sagging walk along the broad sidewalks holding their girlfriend’s hands. No one bats an eye if the girl is blue-eyed and blond. At times a pickup truck bearing confederate flag license plates will rev its engine, but the young seem unfazed. A prosperous black population lives along the banks of the Tallahatchie River. Their ranks culled from nearby military installations and new industry. Still, taboos exist, and people remember the old Money Mississippi. Jill a thirty-year-old white woman and Alvin, a seventeen-year-old black kid are having an affair. The relationship is as much about rebelling as it is about love. Jill enjoys rubbing her KKK grandfather’s nose in the tryst. Alvin like most young men has one thing on his mind. But he too is on a mission to resist his Grandfather’s teachings rooted in the old ways of Money. He sees Jill as a sexual conquest and to prove his grandfather wrong about white women and “light skin women.” However, Jill and Alvin are on opposite sides of the track. While Alvin comes from the more prosperous River Hill Estates, Jill lives in a housing project alongside a swampy tributary of the Tallahatchie River. Her only future is Walmart and the pills she takes for PTSD brought on by a traumatic incident that happened when she was in the army. Alvin goes off to college and leaves Jill pregnant with his child. He returns four years later with his bride-to-be and plans to take his child. What happens on his return will make you wonder if the spirit of Emmett lurks in the murky waters of the Tallahatchie. Excerpt: As Alvin walked along the river, he felt himself wise for a boy. In that brief summer escaping from murderous Chicago, he had been fed a healthy diet of grandfatherly advice on everything from blues to women. And it was the subject of women that had intrigued Alvin the most. He let the John Lee Hooker, BB King, Charles Johnson, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, and Son House albums gather dust while he studied the white girls of Money. He had dated white girls in Chicago an act that got him in trouble with a local street gang in his Southside neighborhood. It had taken his book smarts along with his good looks to wow those northern girls. When he got off the bus at the depot in Money and looked around at the willows blowing in the breeze, he felt oddly at ease and imagined those willows as the arms and legs of girls bending and yielding to his enchanting northern accent and street edge. He would allow them to cast their spell first of course. His grandfather had said that was the gentlemanly thing to do. He loved the spells of white girls--the eyes that changed from blue to green from amber to black at the whim of the sun or even a cloudy sky.
The #1 New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year, now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives, from the author of Into the Water. “Nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train.”—Vanity Fair “The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl. . . . [It] is liable to draw a large, bedazzled readership.”—The New York Times “Marries movie noir with novelistic trickery. . . hang on tight. You'll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend.”—USA Today “Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages.”—The Boston Globe “Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller.”—People EVERY DAY THE SAME Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life--as she sees it--is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. UNTIL TODAY And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Anthony Lane on Con Air— “Advance word on Con Air said that it was all about an airplane with an unusually dangerous and potentially lethal load. Big deal. You should try the lunches they serve out of Newark. Compared with the chicken napalm I ate on my last flight, the men in Con Air are about as dangerous as balloons.” Anthony Lane on The Bridges of Madison County— “I got my copy at the airport, behind a guy who was buying Playboy’s Book of Lingerie, and I think he had the better deal. He certainly looked happy with his purchase, whereas I had to ask for a paper bag.” Anthony Lane on Martha Stewart— “Super-skilled, free of fear, the last word in human efficiency, Martha Stewart is the woman who convinced a million Americans that they have the time, the means, the right, and—damn it—the duty to pipe a little squirt of soft cheese into the middle of a snow pea, and to continue piping until there are ‘fifty to sixty’ stuffed peas raring to go.” For ten years, Anthony Lane has delighted New Yorker readers with his film reviews, book reviews, and profiles that range from Buster Keaton to Vladimir Nabokov to Ernest Shackleton. Nobody’s Perfect is an unforgettable collection of Lane’s trademark wit, satire, and insight that will satisfy both the long addicted and the not so familiar. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Warning: This is an independent addition to The Girl on the Train, meant to enhance your experience of the original book. If you have not yet bought the original copy, make sure to purchase it before buying this unofficial summary from aBookaDay. It is just a daily train ride, a little imagination running wild as she enjoys the scenery from her window seat. It is something we all do, right? Rachel Watson makes up innocent stories about the people she sees. For Rachel it is comforting, something steadfast in her crumbling world. She rides the train every morning like she always has, but without the purpose she once had. Her failed marriage and her descent into alcoholism make her an outcast. She rides into town to a job she no longer has, only to come back at the end of the day to a roommate she is lying to. She has no purpose and nothing seems to be changing until she witnesses something important. Rachel's favorite imaginary couple that she peers at every day from the train seem to be having trouble. She calls them "Jason" and "Jess." Rachel can't quite figure out where she fits in. She was wandering around in a drunken stupor the night "jess" disappears. Rachel starts trying to regain her memories from that night. She tries to piece together the memories of that hazy night. Rachel's new found hobby is a welcome distraction from her life and problems. She has been dealing not only with an ex-husband, but his new wife as well. Once his mistress, Anna is now having Tom's baby. Rachel feels inadequate as a result of her infertility and her alcohol problems, blaming herself for the demise of her marriage. Rachel starts out trying to offer a little information into what might have happened to "Jess," but she becomes obsessed with the case and the people in it. Rachel tries to fill a void with strangers and a case that, supposedly, has nothing to do with her. As Rachel learns to trust herself and her instincts she comes face to face with something she never expected. Read more.... Download your copy today! Available on PC, Mac, smart phone, tablet or Kindle device. (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved
An acclaimed journalist travels the globe to solve the mystery of her ancestry, confronting the question at the heart of the American experience of immigration, race, and identity: Who are my people? Alex Wagner has always been fascinated by stories of exile and migration. Her father’s ancestors immigrated to the United States from Ireland and Luxembourg. Her mother fled Rangoon in the 1960s, escaping Burma’s military dictatorship. In her professional life, Wagner reported from the Arizona-Mexico border, where agents, drones, cameras, and military hardware guarded the line between two nations. She listened to debates about whether the United States should be a melting pot or a salad bowl. She knew that moving from one land to another—and the accompanying recombination of individual and tribal identities—was the story of America. And she was happy that her own mixed-race ancestry and late twentieth-century education had taught her that identity is mutable and meaningless, a thing we make rather than a thing we are. When a cousin’s offhand comment threw a mystery into her personal story–introducing the possibility of an exciting new twist in her already complex family history—Wagner was suddenly awakened to her own deep hunger to be something, to belong, to have an identity that mattered, a tribe of her own. Intoxicated by the possibility, she became determined to investigate her genealogy. So she set off on a quest to find the truth about her family history. The journey takes Wagner from Burma to Luxembourg, from ruined colonial capitals with records written on banana leaves to Mormon databases and high-tech genetic labs. As she gets closer to solving the mystery of her own ancestry, she begins to grapple with a deeper question: Does it matter? Is our enduring obsession with blood and land, race and identity, worth all the trouble it’s caused us? The answers can be found in this deeply personal account of her search for belonging, a meditation on the things that define us as insiders and outsiders and make us think in terms of “us” and “them.” In this time of conflict over who we are as a country, when so much emphasis is placed on ethnic, religious, and national divisions, Futureface constructs a narrative where we all belong. “Alex Wagner starts with the humble story of a third-culture kid’s existential loneliness and ends with a smart, timely, and moving exploration of family lies, exile and immigration, genetics, and the mystery of human belonging.”—Eddie Huang, bestselling author of Fresh Off the Boat
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