The Passenger started off with Jo on the run. I didn’t know what she was running from, and honestly, I didn’t care. Somehow it didn’t matter that I didn’t know whether she was a villain or a victim, all I knew was that I wanted her to succeed. Of all the books I’ve read since the infamous Gone Girl, this was one of the few that was actually pretty similar. The novel was packed with crime and murder, but this was not a gory tale.
This was an in depth look at the humanity of crazy characters who lived outside of normal societal limits. Their disrespect for the law should have made everyone unlikable, but the author gave several people a sympathetic background that made them likable. Despite Jo succumbing to murder, theft, and crime, she was presented as a sad and fragile woman whose life was stolen from her.
I could have used more information earlier on about what went wrong with Jo’s life, if for no other reason than to empathize with her more. Keeping those secrets until the last few pages made this drag a little. For example, there was not a lot of dialogue. Instead the author focused more on Jo and her attempt to live a life as someone else. Since Jo reinvented herself so many times, much of the novel was spent the same way: recalling the minimal amount of money she had, itemizing the small amount of food she could buy, and describing which color she dyed her hair. I thought it was very clever that each chapter was titled with the name of a different woman Jo impersonated.
The title of this book didn’t make sense until the end, which was great! I really loved this one!