Theo Faber contrives to work at a forensic psychiatric hospital in North London so that he might get the opportunity to work with Alicia Berenson. Her case is interesting in that following the murder of her husband, she has not spoken a word since. Now heavily medicated, the staff have all but given up on her…
Theo’s methods are more successful that those tried previously on Alicia and the two form a rapport, though mostly one-sided due to Alicia’s silence.
We learn about Theo’s home life. He is madly in love with his wife, though he discovers that she is being unfaithful…
The only way we know anything about Alicia is via her diary entries from the time leading up to her murdering her husband, whom she loved dearly.
I really wanted to make sure I read this book in 2019 as so many of my fellow readers thought so highly of it. I’m glad I did.
The author was inspired by the Euripedes story concerning Alcestis, who sacrificed herself to the Underworld then was ultimately restored to life, but mute.
The characters were interesting, though I wanted to learn more about Alicia. It seemed that Theo’s point of view dominated the novel. The plot was compelling as I was interested in learning the reasons WHY Alicia was silent for so long and WHY she murdered the man she professed to love so much.
The writing held my attention throughout with the small exception of the middle of the book which slowed down a bit. The last third of the book fairly flew by. It was this last third of the book that increased my regard for the novel – as I do enjoy a good plot twist and there were a few good ones here. That being said, I felt that these twists were not wholly unexpected and perhaps engineered for shock value?
Ultimately, this is a psychological thriller that I’ll remember for some time. One which will please a lot of readers of this genre. I think it would make an awesome movie, should they ever decide to do that. Recommended!
I purchased this novel in Kindle format. ASIN: B07D2C6J4K
Published by Celadon Books/ Macmillan Canada – 297 pages
Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1977 to a Greek father and English mother. He studied English literature at Cambridge University and got his MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Brits are Coming (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. His first novel is the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Silent Patient.
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