Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides has been staring into my soul since it arrived on my shelf at the end of last year. I have had this book on my TBR since November 2019 (you can find it on multiple TBR posts on my blog!), and have been quite intimidated by it, only because of the massive hype in 2019. It was a #1 NYT bestseller, won several book awards, and earned the #1 Mystery/Thriller of 2019 on Goodreads! Oh, and did I mention it is a DEBUT NOVEL?!?!?!?!?!
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…
This book was MIND BLOWING.
Most people’s ratings are strictly based off of their thoughts on the final (again MIND BLOWING) plot twist. What was interesting about this novel, is that you will either love or hate it depending on how you read it. Without going into much detail or spoiling the entire plot line, the plot twist at the end will shock you if you don’t think about the timeline presented in the book. That is ALL I will tell you… and I feel like even that is sharing too much!
Although I absolutely loved the plot twist, the stand out feature of this novel was the writing. I could not believe that this was a debut novel. The writing in this book was so simple, yet so elegant. Everything was written for a reason and only provided just enough detail for readers to visualize the [wild] events that were taking place. After completing the book, I read a few reviews that criticized the writing style, but I feel like those reviewers were used to a more outgoing first person narrator. This book is technically written in first person POV from the psychotherapists’s perspective, but there are also journal entries written from Alicia herself, which were fantastically written, as well. Normally when reading books written in this way, I will favour one POV/writing style better, but in this book, I enjoyed them equally!
The characters were really interesting and very well developed. Theo and Alicia’s characters contrasted each other, but as you continue to read the novel, you learn that they are actually very similar internally.
Overall, I gave this book a 5/5 stars (my second 5-star book out of my last three reads!), and would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Mystery/Thriller novels!
Good Night Book Owls!