The Girl on the Train | Study Guide

Paula Hawkins

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The Girl on the Train | Anna (Chapter 28) | Summary



On Saturday, August 17, 2013, Anna and Tom have been fighting over Rachel. Anna is jealous and thinks that something might be going on between them, even though she cannot imagine anyone picking Rachel over her. During their fight, Tom complains that Anna has begun snooping around the way Rachel used to. Although this feels like a low blow, she has to admit that he is right. After Tom leaves for the gym she opens a bottle of wine and snoops in his e-mail. When she can't find anything she goes upstairs and notices that Tom didn't take his gym bag. In it she finds a cell phone with several messages from a locked number. When Tom comes home he says he went to the pub after he noticed he forgot his gym bag, and they make love. The next morning she wakes up before Tom and listens to the outgoing message: it's a woman's voice.


As the novel begins to quickly alternate between Rachel and Anna, the plot thickens as the comparisons between the two women highlight similarities and differences. Anna shows nothing but disdain for Rachel, drawing comfort from the assumption that nobody would choose Rachel, an alcoholic who let herself go, over her. Comfortable in her looks and her sexual power over men, Anna assures herself that Tom is still hers. At the same time she admits that it is quite possible that he is cheating on her now the way they cheated on Rachel. In a case of dramatic irony she suspects Rachel and compares the meeting times she finds on the phone with the times she knows Rachel was in the neighborhood. While in her limited perspective Anna has good reason to suspect Rachel, the reader, who has seen the story evolve from several perspectives, knows that the more likely candidate is Megan.

The cliffhanger that ends this chapter, cutting off Anna's perspective right as she recognizes the female voice on the phone but before she reveals who it is, keeps the doubt—and with it the suspense—alive.

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