June 30, 2020

review: the silent patient, by alex michaelides


The Silent Patient wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be and I’m not entirely sure what that even was. It was recommended to me by a friend who listened to it on audio, so I followed suit and did the same. I think I have a million credits on Audible and I just keep forgetting to use them…at any rate.

I would classify The Silent Patient as dramatic suspense with a little romance thrown in. The story revolves around the intersection of lives between Alicia Berenson and her therapist, Theo Faber. Set in the United Kingdom, Alicia has been accused of murdering her husband, Gabriel. An unfathomable act considering how madly in love they were—an act that has now rendered Alicia, mute. Though trust me when I say, while Alicia may not speak—she most certainly finds way to communicate.

Equally enamored, Theo shares a similar level of passion for his wife Kathy. Now, with one marriage having ended tragically and another moving lovingly forward, Theo and Alicia become intertwined when she is committed to an asylum and Theo becomes consumed with helping her to speak again. Trying every therapy he can think of, bordering on both the unconventional and the unethical, Theo becomes obsessed.

Told in both present and past tense, the tale that is woven together is both cohesive and enthralling. Truly a page turner (had I been reading the actual book as opposed to listening), you will be captivated by the storyline and the many colorful characters. As Theo delves into Alicia’s past and we see detailed highlights of his own, we come to see two very desperate individuals who share more similarities than you might think.

If you’re looking for something fast-paced with twists and turns and a setting outside the U.S.–and with the pandemic and travel restrictions, what better way to be transported than through the pages of a book–this is the read for you. The characters aren’t always what they seem and those committed to the asylum may be more rational than those in charge.

The ending of this book is one you won’t see coming—no really, you won’t—and that only makes me recommend it more.

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