Study Guide

The Girl on the Train Lies and Deceit

By Paula Hawkins

Lies and Deceit

"Yes, I was on the grassy knoll."

"Yes, I did have sexual relations with that woman."

"Yes, Beyonce did have the best album."

Life would be very different if people always told the truth. But people don't—and it's a good thing, too. If everyone told the truth, we wouldn't have any mystery novels. How boring would that be? The Girl on the Train is a mix of people lying to others, lying to themselves, and deceiving us, the readers. So many pants on fire.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Does Rachel actively try to deceive people, or do her blackouts only cause her to deceive herself?
  2. In what ways do Megan's chapters deceive readers into thinking she's having an affair with a person she isn't?
  3. Is Megan deceiving Scott by not telling him about her baby, who she accidentally killed? Or is that none of Scott's business?
  4. What does Tom lie about? Why? Rachel says she'd love Tom even if he didn't lie. Do you believe her?

Chew on This

Megan and Tom are the most deceptive characters in the book, so it's no surprise they have an affair. But Tom would never marry Megan—he marries the women who rarely lie.

Kamal's therapy is effective because he encourages Megan and Rachel to stop lying and be honest with themselves.