By Crystal Olague || Contributing Writer
For this week’s review, I’m actually going to talk about one of the books that we read in our book club, which you should totally join, called The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. Before I read this book, I had heard about it everywhere. It was like a never ending escape. No matter where I went, I saw people talking about this book on Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and YouTube. All of the hype surrounding this book was mainly due to the fact that this was Michaelides’ first book, and the plot was incredible. All of these amazing reviews had people running to buy a copy, but where there is praise, there is hate. Despite all the great things I heard about this book, I also heard people talk about how overrated this book was and that the ending was not strong. Now I won’t lie to you, I was put off by the negative reviews that I heard because I was scared, but once I got into the book, I could not put it down.
This story revolves around a woman, Alicia, who allegedly kills her husband by shooting him in the face five times, but strangely after killing him she never spoke again. Interestingly enough, after being arrested for his murder, Alicia paints a painting called “Alceste” where Alicia is the woman depicted in the painting. The reason why this is such an interesting and mysterious painting is because the myth of Alceste is that Hades confronts a man and tells him that he is going to the underworld. The only way the man can get out of this situation is if someone volunteers to go in his place, the man’s wife, Alceste, volunteers and he doesn’t stop her. Hades takes Alceste in her husband’s place and brings her down to the underworld, until one day he decides that he is going to take her back to the mortal world. Her husband is there waiting for her and brings her home, but after coming back up, she stopped speaking and no one knows why.
To the average person, this painting was “proof” of Alicia’s guilt, but to Theo Faber, this was the beginning of an investigation. Theo is a therapist who has a tragic past and has been interested in Alicia’s story from the moment he heard it. During Alicia’s trial, a different therapist deemed Alicia insane and urged the judge to place her in a mental facility instead of sending her to prison. Theo decides to go work at that institution to try and figure out what happened to Alicia and uncover the truth, despite no one else being able to do so. Now I won’t say much more about the plot because I don’t want to give too much away in case you plan on reading the book, but all I can say is that I was not ready for the plot twist.
This is a psychological thriller that is told through three different perspectives, Alicia’s perspective told through her diary, Theo’s perspective in the present, and Theo’s point of view in his past. At first, I wasn’t too interested in the book, but I had faith and wanted to keep pushing through and I am so glad that I did. I truly loved the inclusion of Alicia’s diary because it provided us with so much insight that we simply would have never gotten without it since she stopped speaking. I got so invested in the book because I knew her diary would reveal answers to the murder and I wanted to see if I could figure it out before the answer was given to us. I truly do recommend this book, and I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Crystal Olague is a Contributing Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.