Study Guide

The Girl on the Train Chapter 3

By Paula Hawkins

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Chapter 3


  • It's the morning after we last saw Rachel.
  • She's riding the train and dreaming about breakfast.
  • Okay, she's thinking of her ex, Tom, too, but we got distracted by the mention of breakfast.
  • When she stops thinking of breakfast… mmm… breakfast… Rachel sees "Jess" outside with a man who isn't her husband.
  • Rachel is disappointed in this woman she doesn't even know because it reminds her of when Tom cheated on her.
  • She was checking Tom's work schedule to plan a surprise vacation and she found spicy e-mails from another woman on his laptop. Ouch.
  • The memory makes Rachel so angry that she thinks, "if I saw Jess, I would spit in her face. I would scratch her eyes out" (3.11). Jeepers.
  • That evening, Rachel remembers something awkward that happened between train rides: She went to a café and bumped into Martin Miles with Sasha and Harriet.
  • Martin Miles would be bad enough, but Sasha and Harriet?
  • Wait a minute… who are Martin Miles, Sasha, or Harriet?!
  • Rachel knows them somehow, but she won't explicitly say where from. She tells them she has a job interview, though, so maybe she used to work with them.
  • After drinking a grande cup of awkwardness at the café, Rachel goes to the park.
  • She gets a call from Tom, but when she answers, it's not Tom—it's his new wife, Anna. Curses.
  • She tells Rachel to stop calling Tom all the time: "That's just not acceptable" (3.24).
  • Rachel thinks about this humiliating, infuriating phone call while she slams back cans of gin and tonic on a park bench.
  • She imagines getting revenge against Anna and sending her a nasty e-mail.
  • Yeah, that'll teach her to marry Tom and move into the house he used to share with Rachel…
  • No, that's too depressing. Instead Rachel just falls asleep, sad.
  • Cathy is up early and cleaning the next morning. Rachel, however, has no clue what to do with her Saturday.
  • She decides to go see "Jason" and tell him that she saw his wife with another man.
  • Rachel has clearly been drinking.
  • She gets off the right subway stop and bumps into a man with red hair, and…
  • It's the next morning already. Rachel had a black out, and she doesn't remember what happened.
  • She tries to recall some details.
  • She fell on the subway stairs and a red-haired man picked her up.
  • But that's it. How'd she get home? Where's her purse? Her phone?
  • When she gets out of bed, she sees bruises on her legs. How'd those get there?
  • Rachel goes downstairs and she finds her purse and her phone alongside all her clothes and a puddle of vomit on the stairs. Yikes.
  • Deciding to clean up the puke later, Rachel goes upstairs to plug in her cell phone.
  • On it is a message from Tom: "What the hell is wrong with you?" (3.70). He tells Rachel to stay away from him and Anna.
  • Rachel has no clue what she did to them, but whatever it was, she's angry that Tom spoke to her that way.
  • Rachel imagines going to their house and smashing Anna's head in. Ouch.
  • At some point she passes out again, and she only wakes up when Cathy screams at her to clean up her vomit.
  • Cathy is furious that Rachel got so wasted.
  • Rachel cleans up the stale puddle of sick and then notices she has a voicemail from Tom.
  • In a complete reversal from the night before, he's being nice, checking on her, making sure she got home okay.
  • Rachel crawls into bed feeling sorry for herself… but not sure what exactly she has to feel sorry for.

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