De Britse schrijfster Paula Hawkins werd geboren op 26 augustus 1972 en groeide op in Salisbury (het huidige Harare in Zimbabwe) in Rhodesië. Ze verhuisde in 1989 op 17-jarige leeftijd naar Londen waar ze filosofie, economie en politiek studeerde aan het Keble College van de universiteit van Oxford. Ze was journaliste voor The Times, werkte aan een aantal publicaties op freelancebasis en schreef ook een financieel adviesboek voor vrouwen, getiteld “The Money Goddess”. Hawkins schreef een aantal romantische komedieromans onder het pseudoniem Amy Silver en brak in 2015 door onder haar eigen naam met de psychologische thriller “The Girl on the Train”, waarin de huiselijk geweld, alcohol en drugsgebruik een rol spelen. Het boek werd in 2016 verfilmd met Emily Blunt in de rol van Rachel.. Het boek kwam op 1 februari 2015 op nummer één op de The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 en stond 16 weken op de eerste plaats.
Uit:The Girl on the Train
“I want to run. I want to take a road trip, in a convertible, with the top down. I want to drive to the coast—any coast. I want to walk on a beach. Me and my big brother were going to be road trippers. We had such plans, Ben and I. Well, they were Ben’s plans mostly—he was such a dreamer. We were going to ride motorbikes from Paris to the Côte d’Azur, or all the way down the Pacific coast of the USA, from Seattle to Los Angeles; we were going to follow in Che Guevara’s tracks from Buenos Aires to Caracas. Maybe if I’d done all that, I wouldn’t have ended up here, not knowing what to do next. Or maybe, if I’d done all that, I’d have ended up exactly where I am and I would be perfectly contented. But I didn’t do all that, of course, because Ben never got as far as Paris, he never even made it as far as Cambridge. He died on the A10, his skull crushed beneath the wheels of an articulated lorry.
I miss him every day. More than anyone, I think. He’s the big hole in my life, in the middle of my soul. Or maybe he was just the beginning of it. I don’t know. I don’t even know whether all this is really about Ben, or whether it’s about everything that happened after that, and everything that’s happened since. All I know is, one minute I’m ticking along fine and life is sweet and I want for nothing, and the next I can’t wait to get away, I’m all over the place, slipping and sliding again.
So, I’m going to see a therapist! Which could be weird, but it could be a laugh, too. I’ve always thought that it might be fun to be Catholic, to be able to go to the confessional and unburden yourself and have someone tell you that they forgive you, to take all the sin away, wipe the slate clean.
This is not quite the same thing, of course. I’m a bit nervous, but I haven’t been able to get to sleep lately, and Scott’s been on my case to go. I told him I find it difficult enough talking to people I know about this stuff—I can barely even talk to him about it. He said that’s the point, you can say anything to strangers. But that isn’t completely true. You can’t just say anything. Poor Scott. He doesn’t know the half of it. He loves me so much, it makes me ache. I don’t know how he does it. I would drive me mad.
But I have to do something, and at least this feels like action. All those plans I had—photography courses and cookery classes—when it comes down to it, they feel a bit pointless, as if I’m playing at real life instead of actually living it. I need to find something that I must do, something undeniable. I can’t do this, I can’t just be a wife. I don’t understand how anyone does it—there is literally nothing to do but wait. Wait for a man to come home and love you. Either that or look around for something to distract you.”
Paula Hawkins (Salisbury, 26 augustus 1972)