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The Silent Patient Review
Alicia Berenson was convicted of killing her husband Gabriel, but she refused to speak about the murder and has not said a word in six years. Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, gets a job at the center where Alicia is a patient. He is determined to make her talk. Interspersed with Theo’s narrative, there are sections of Alice’s diary that describe the time leading up to Gabriel’s death.
The book is described as a psychological thriller, but there isn’t much “seat edge” suspense. However, there are a number of questions that keep the reader interested: Why did Alice kill Gabriel when she loved him and was happy in her marriage? Why don’t you speak to explain and / or defend yourself? Why is Theo so obsessed with working with Alicia? And the short chapters add to the fast pace.
It is the implausibility of some of the events that I found irritating. Theo arrives and can he immediately change Alicia’s medication dramatically? Doesn’t your obsession with Alicia raise red flags? Can a patient in a safe psychiatric center paint a painting and frame it? The plot twist that people describe as staggering requires the reader to intentionally mislead themselves into a key element of Theo’s story of his marital problems. Fooling the reader like that is like ending a story with “And then I woke up”! And then there is Alicia’s diary. The entries are totally unrealistic because magazine writers summarize the events and their feelings. Does Alice write pages and pages of dialogue and describe scenes in great detail?
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In many ways, this book is a study of characters. For me, Theo is the most interesting character. One of the first things Theo mentions is that “I became a psychotherapist because I was screwed.” He admits to a marijuana addiction because “he has never learned to hold back [and] is plagued by feelings of anxiety.” Keep repeating that “the answers to the present are in the past.” Then a quote is included: “The goal of therapy is not to correct the past, but to allow the patient to confront and grieve over their own history.” Finally, there are statements like: “We were breaking to the last limit between the therapist and the patient. It would soon be impossible to know who was who. ” The question that kept me reading was what about his past that Theo doesn’t reveal? He certainly has flaws, is he also a silent patient?
The book is entertaining and fast-paced enough, but any veteran psychological suspense reader will likely predict the plot twist long before it is revealed. The novel can best be described as a better example of escapist fiction.
- Name: The Silent Patient
- Writer: Alex Michaelides
- Categories: English Literature, On Sell
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Celadon Books; First Edition edition (February 5, 2019)
- ISBN-10: 1250301696
- ISBN-13: 978-1250301697
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Customer Reviews:4.4 out of 5 stars – 12,290 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82
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