The Girl on the Train | Study Guide

Paula Hawkins

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Course Hero. "The Girl on the Train Study Guide." August 3, 2017. Accessed December 12, 2018.


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The Girl on the Train | Characters

Character Description
Rachel Watson Rachel, a blackout drunk imagining the perfect life of strangers on her commute to nowhere, is the main character and one of three first-person narrators in the novel. On a journey to her better self, she battles alcoholism and guilt over a failed marriage as she relentlessly tries to recover her lost memories. Read More
Megan Hipwell Megan is another first-person narrator of the novel and the subject of Rachel's fantasies about her lost domestic happiness. She is also Scott's wife and Tom's lover, who kills her to keep their trysts a secret. Read More
Anna Watson Anna is the third first-person narrator of the novel and Rachel's nemesis. She is also Tom's second wife and the mother of a small baby. She is fiercely protective of her supposedly happy family. Read More
Tom Watson Tom is a compulsive liar, cheater, and murderer. He portrays the charming husband and perfect father to the outside world, yet he proves to be an emotionally abusive and violent man. Read More
Scott Hipwell Scott is Megan's husband. Although deeply in love with her, he exposes himself as an abusive man and drives her away with his controlling nature and jealous fits of rage. Read More
Dr. Kamal Abdic Kamal Abdic is Megan's, and, for a few sessions, Rachel's therapist. Although he is a gentle and warm-hearted man, he ends up a suspect in Megan's disappearance because Rachel saw him kissing Megan on the balcony and wrongly assumed they were lovers.
Andy (the red-haired man) Andy is the red-haired man who helps Rachel when she stumbles at the train station the Saturday night Megan disappears. He functions as a red herring or false clue throughout the novel.
Ben Ben is Megan's brother, who died in a motorcycle accident when Megan was a teenager. The siblings were very close and had planned to travel the world together.
Cathy Cathy is a distant college friend of Rachel's. She rents her spare bedroom to Rachel and disapproves of Rachel's drinking and other behaviors, but she remains supportive when she learns Rachel lost her job.
Damien Damien is Cathy's boyfriend. Disapproving of Rachel's conduct, he exposes that Rachel has lost her job and lied to Cathy about it for months.
Tara Epstein Tara is Megan's only friend. She provides cover when Megan is meeting her lover, Tom.
Detective Gaskill Detective Gaskill is the male detective investigating Megan's disappearance and murder. Although he considers Rachel an unreliable witness, he shows compassion for her situation.
Craig McKenzie Craig "Mac" McKenzie is Megan's former boyfriend and the father of the baby who drowned. In Megan's mind, he rescued her after her brother's death, yet he abandoned her when their baby died.
Martin Miles Martin is Rachel's former colleague at the job she was fired from for being drunk on the job.
Detective Riley Detective Riley is the female detective investigating Megan's disappearance and murder. She considers Rachel an unreliable witness and a hopeless drunk.
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