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The Girl on the Train
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The Girl on the Train > CATHY - Such a nice girl!

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message 1: by Brantford (last edited Apr 27, 2015 07:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brantford Public Library | 453 comments Mod
Rachel's roommate Cathy seemed to be the only nice stable character in the book? She was caring and friendly to Rachel but also firm about Rachel's drinking problem.

But what role did Cathy actually play in this book? She wasn't implicated in the murder in any way. Was she thrown into the story as a red herring?

Any thoughts on this?

message 2: by Karen (last edited Apr 27, 2015 06:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen (karen1278) | 428 comments I think she serves as foil, she is a reminder of the type of life Rachel wants. A normal boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Cathy also provides Rachel with a home throughout the book, the main character has to live somewhere and she does with a friend who forgives her at every turn. She makes demands of Rachel, gives ultimatums but never follows through.
I don't see Cathy as a red herring at all as she does not play a big enough role in the book, she doesn't divert our attention from any other character, none of her actions move the plot forward.

message 3: by Colleen (last edited Apr 29, 2015 07:24AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Colleen | 101 comments Cathy was needed, like Karen said, to give Rachel a home. Rachel is on such a down slide through the book, it wouldn't make sense to have her in her own apartment, all nicely furnished. So a nice stable flatmate is the perfect option. It also gives us in insight into how Rachel feels about herself. She is clearly equally as disappointed in herself as Cathy is with her, so it makes a good comparison point. I think without Cathy we wouldn't really have realized that Rachel actually knew how bad she was.

Anna (iudita) | 450 comments At one point I almost wondered if Cathy had something to do with the murder, simply because she seemed to be the only character that wasn't connected somehow so I thought she would be the least obvious.

Another character that I thought played a strange role was Rachel's mom. Aside from showing us what a flaky mom she was, I didn't see much point in her character. The author could have easily filled us in on Rachel's mother without actually introducing her into the story. After we met her and got a glimpse of the kind of person she was, she never really played a role in the story.

Karen (karen1278) | 428 comments I agree Anna, the Mom played a very insignificant role. I think she was introduced just to give Rachel an out at the end, since it is obvious to the reader Rachel doesn't have the money to start afresh by herself. I think the author was hoping the readers were invested in Rachel's character and wanted to give us an ending that at least was a bit redeeming-Anna and the baby are safe and Rachel kills the "bad guy" and does what she likes the best--gets on another train. Dah.

message 6: by Katie-scarlett (new)

Katie-scarlett (ksmacgill) | 1 comments I agree with Colleen that Cathy was a great comparison for Rachel and readers. Cathy and Rachel were on similar paths, but Rachel veered off it is a constant nagging reminder to Cathy how low she has sunk.
I also found it funny when Rachel would make judgments about Cathy and her relationship with her boyfriend. Was that a way to say that no relationship is perfect? Or was that a way for Rachel to feel less crummy about her own situation and the fact that she doesn't have a boyfriend/is divorced. Rachel hadn't given up her husband's surname during the novel. Such a curious piece of information. I wonder if these are telling about her psychological/emotional state.

Karen (karen1278) | 428 comments I agree with Katie-Scarlett. Rachel does make judgements about Cathy's life, it's obvious that she is jealous. It's what she wants, a happy life. She wants to nest and "had it all" at one point.

Anna (iudita) | 450 comments Karen wrote: "I agree with Katie-Scarlett. Rachel does make judgements about Cathy's life, it's obvious that she is jealous. It's what she wants, a happy life. She wants to nest and "had it all" at one point."

Actually one thing I did notice in this book was that all 3 women were constantly passing judgement on each other. Always observing and commenting on each other's actions and lifestyles. Sizing each other up.

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