A Literary Guide to Surviving a Separation

First Person

A Literary Guide to Surviving a Separation

Illustration: Saachi Mehta/ Arré


am sitting in a cosy corner of Sakley’s Mountain Café with a copy of Paula Hawkins’ psychological thriller The Girl on the Train on my lap. The letters of the title, cleverly designed to mimic the shakiness of reading on a moving train, float in front of me, but I double-check to see that it is not because of my glass of warm mulled wine. The tagline is a captivating, “You don’t know her. But she knows you.”

Around me, voices are raised in fervent discussion. I gather that two or three of the people in our book club enjoyed the thriller, while an equal number didn’t. “We should totally avoid these New York Times lists, man. So overrated,” complains one. “I bet authors pay to get their books on it.” Discussion ensues on whether this is actually true. “It wasn’t that bad ya,” counters another. “The movie should be better.”