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Course Hero. "The Girl on the Train Study Guide." Course Hero. 3 Aug. 2017. Web. 14 Nov. 2018. <>.

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Course Hero. "The Girl on the Train Study Guide." August 3, 2017. Accessed November 14, 2018.


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The Girl on the Train | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • July 5, 2013

    On her commute through her old neighborhood, Rachel watches Jason (Scott) and Jess (Megan).

    Rachel (Chapter 1)
  • July 12, 2013

    Rachel sees Jess kissing a man other than her husband.

    Rachel (Chapter 3)
  • July 15, 2013

    A woman has disappeared, and Rachel realizes that it is Jess.

    Rachel (Chapter 5)
  • July 17, 2013

    Rachel tells the police about the kiss. She was there that night, but too drunk to remember much.

    Rachel (Chapter 7)
  • July 21, 2013

    Rachel tells Scott that Megan kissed a man; they learn that it was Megan's therapist, Kamal Abdic.

    Rachel (Chapter 11)
  • July 23, 2013

    Kamal is questioned by the police but then released without charge.

    Rachel (Chapter 15)
  • August 1, 2013

    Megan's body is found.

    Rachel (Chapter 15)
  • August 3, 2013

    The red-haired man triggers memories of being hit and a woman in a blue dress walking away: Anna.

    Rachel (Chapter 17)
  • August 3, 2013

    Anna worries that the police are underestimating Rachel's threat to Anna's family.

    Anna (Chapter 18)
  • August 6, 2013

    Rachel visits Kamal to help her recover her memories and to find clues about the killing.

    Rachel (Chapter 19)
  • August 7, 2013

    The papers publish news that Megan is responsible for her baby drowning in a bathtub.

    Rachel (Chapter 19)
  • August 10, 2013

    Rachel wakes up in Scott's bed after they've made love.

    Rachel (Chapter 23)
  • August 15, 2013

    Angry that Rachel lied to him about knowing Megan, Scott attacks her. Rachel thinks he killed Megan.

    Rachel (Chapter 27)
  • August 17, 2013

    Rachel remembers that Tom hit her and got into a car with a woman.

    Rachel (Chapter 27)
  • August 17–18, 2013

    Anna finds a phone in Tom's gym bag and recognizes the female voice on the outgoing message.

    Anna (Chapter 28)
  • August 17, 2013

    Rachel remembers that the woman getting into Tom's car wore jeans and a red T-shirt: Megan.

    Rachel (Chapter 29)
  • August 18, 2013

    Rachel goes to Anna's house and begs her to leave with her.

    Rachel (Chapter 31)
  • August 18, 2013

    Tom gets home and holds the women hostage. Rachel kills him with a corkscrew.

    Rachel (Chapter 38)
  • September 10, 2013

    Rachel visits Megan's grave and vows to stay sober.

    Rachel (Chapter 38)

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Rachel (Chapter 1) On Friday morning, July 5, 2013, Rachel rides the commuter train between London and Ashbury. She notices a pile of cloth... Read More
Megan (Chapter 2) One year earlier, on Wednesday morning, May 12, 2012, Megan, the first-person-narrator of this section, listens to the s... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 3) On Friday, July 12, 2013, Rachel sees Jess kissing a man other than her husband. Jess's cheating reminds her of Tom chea... Read More
Megan (Chapter 4) On Tuesday, October 2, 2012, Megan is restless. During a panic attack that night, she made several phone calls to a man.... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 5) On Monday, July 15, 2013, Rachel receives an eviction notice. On the train, she cries, wondering if she could have stopp... Read More
Megan (Chapter 6) On January 10, 2013, Megan shares in her therapy session with Kamal that she ran away from home after her brother's deat... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 7) On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, Rachel is taking the train to Witney, hoping to jumpstart her memory. The newspapers report t... Read More
Megan (Chapter 8) On Thursday, March 7, 2013, in a hotel room Megan and her lover dream about a vacation together and Megan wonders if he ... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 9) On Friday, July 19, 2013, Rachel recalls that the night before she made a list of things to do to solve the mystery, suc... Read More
Anna (Chapter 10) Saturday, July 20, 2013, is Anna's birthday, and Tom surprises her with breakfast in bed. Tom falls asleep, and she take... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 11) On Sunday, July 21, 2013, Rachel recalls that on the previous day she rushed past Tom and Anna's house, hoping not to be... Read More
Megan (Chapter 12) On Tuesday, March 21, 2013, Megan is angry because her lover has not contacted her in several days. She keeps calling hi... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 13) On Monday, July 22, 2013, Rachel remembers how Scott pulled her into the house because he didn't want the journalists to... Read More
Anna (Chapter 14) On the same day, Monday, July 22, 2013, Tom and Anna take the baby for a walk to the coffee shop they used to frequent w... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 15) On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Rachel searches the newspapers and watches TV all day long, hoping to catch the latest news a... Read More
Megan (Chapter 16) On June 13, 2013, about a month before she disappears, Megan is lying awake at night. She feels hot and suffocated, find... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 17) On August 3, 2013, Rachel wakes up after another nightmare. She has two messages: one is from her mother and the other i... Read More
Anna (Chapter 18) On that same day, August 3, 2013, Anna is home alone with the baby while Tom is out with his army friends. She can't sto... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 19) On Sunday, August 4, 2013, Rachel wakes up from another nightmare in which Tom turns everyone against her because she ha... Read More
Anna (Chapter 20) On Wednesday, August 7, 2013, Anna finds out the story about Megan's dead baby while she is at a play date with friends ... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 21) That same day, Wednesday, August 7, 2013, Scott calls Rachel and asks if he can come over to get away from the media. He... Read More
Megan (Chapter 22) On Thursday, June 20, 2013, Megan finishes telling Kamal about the day she accidentally drowned her baby: Mac came home ... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 23) On Saturday, August 10, 2013, Rachel wakes up in Scott's bedroom. They made love the previous night, and both are regret... Read More
Anna (Chapter 24) On that same day, Saturday, August 10, 2013, Anna tells Tom that she saw Rachel coming from Scott's house. She wants to ... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 25) On Monday, August 12, 2013, Tom calls Rachel and asks to see her. She dresses up, brushes her hair, and puts on makeup, ... Read More
Anna (Chapter 26) On Tuesday, August 13, 2013, Anna watches Tom get ready for work. She realizes that she misses dressing up and going to ... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 27) Instead of getting ready for a job interview Cathy arranged, Rachel goes to see Scott on Thursday, August 15, 2013. She ... Read More
Anna (Chapter 28) On Saturday, August 17, 2013, Anna and Tom have been fighting over Rachel. Anna is jealous and thinks that something mig... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 29) On the same day, Saturday, August 17, 2013, the memory of Tom's hitting her in the underpass triggers other memories—mem... Read More
Anna (Chapter 30) Tom wakes up, and Anna throws the phone down by the tracks. When Tom joins her in the backyard, she claims she is out th... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 31) On Sunday, August 18, 2013, Rachel finds Anna in the backyard of her house and approaches. Much to her surprise, Anna do... Read More
Anna (Chapter 32) Anna laughs hysterically that Rachel wants her to come with her. She realizes that Tom will soon notice that the phone i... Read More
Megan (Chapter 33) On Friday, July 12, 2013, Megan finds out that she is pregnant, but she does not know who the father is. She wants to ke... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 34) On Sunday, August 18, 2013, Anna runs into the house when she sees Tom at the kitchen window, and Rachel follows. Rachel... Read More
Megan (Chapter 35) On the evening of Saturday, July 13, 2013, Tom and Megan are driving toward the woods. Tom's hands are bloody, and he te... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 36) On Sunday, August 18, 2013, Rachel, Tom, and Anna are sitting in the living room sipping their afternoon tea. Tom tells ... Read More
Anna (Chapter 37) Upstairs Anna contemplates a life without Rachel, which seems within her grasp because Tom is about to kill Rachel. When... Read More
Rachel (Chapter 38) As Rachel wakes up, Tom blames her for the events that night, claiming that had she not made him mad, none of this would... Read More
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