The Silent Patient is about Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who fatally shot her husband five times in the face. After the murder, she didn’t speak a word, and she has stayed silent for six years. Theo Faber, the narrator, is a psychotherapist who wants to help her and is obsessed with her, and her silence. Alicia story is told through her diary, and the narrator while parallelly Theo’s childhood and his adult life—is the relationship with his wife is explored.
This book was all over Bookstagram and reading the reviews — “A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting”, I was thoroughly excited to read it. And it didn’t disappoint me!
The Silent Patient was one of those books, whose final twist I didn’t see coming at all. The ending is truly shocking and changes everything you know about the main characters in a split second. The author introduces a new character, and you learn certain things about them, but in later chapters, those things turn out to be either false or rather shown from a different perspective.
This was interesting for me since it always kept me guessing. The devil is in the details they say, and as you read not until the very end, you realize that there are several details that unimportant then, are pivotal clue points now.
Alex Michaelides brilliantly fuses his knowledge of Greek history into the story. The Greek tragedian Euripides’s Play Alcestis is a critical aspect of the novel. The book is the author’s debut novel, and I found a few typos and grammatical error. (Publishers) But you can let that pass if the plot is ingeniously conceived and executed. If you are a fan of thrillers and particularly psychological thrillers, like me, then it’s a must-read.
A New York Times Best Seller, this novel also won the Goodreads Choice Award 2019 in the Mystery and Thriller category.
My favourite quote from the book is:
“Choosing a lover is a lot like choosing a therapist. We need to ask ourselves, is this someone who will be honest with me, listen to criticism, admit making mistakes, and not promise the impossible.”
My rating: 4/5
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