Crime,  Suspense,  Tragedy,  Triller

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient front cover

About the Author

Alex Michaelides is a bestselling British-Cypriot author and screenwriter. His debut novel, the psychological thriller The Silent Patient, is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, with over a million copies sold.

His inspiration

He studied psychotherapy for three years, and worked for two years at a secure unit for young adults. This work provided material and inspiration for his debut novel The Silent Patient.

Work

Michaelides’ debut novel, The Silent Patient, was the 1st New York Times Bestseller of Hardcover Fiction in its first week and was the bestselling hardback debut in the US for 2019. It was a Sunday Times top 10 bestseller for seven weeks.
On Amazon.com, it was the 2nd most sold for 2019 in their list of Most Sold Books in fiction and named as their number one thriller of 2019. It also won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery & Thriller of 2019, was chosen as a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and as a Book of the Month in The Times. It was shortlisted for a Barry for best debut and Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year.

The Silent Patient to be release as a Movie.


Brad Pitt’s Production Company, Plan B, is developing The Silent Patient as a movie.

Michaelides’ as yet unpublished second novel, The Maidens, is a psychological detective story about a series of murders at a Cambridge college.

Michaelides also wrote the film The Devil You Know, starring Lena Olin, Rosamund Pike, and Jennifer Lawrence, and co-wrote The Con Is On, starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey, and Sofia Vergara.

My Thoughts

Alcestic from Greek Mythology

The Silent Patient Alcestic

Alcestis or Alceste, was a princess in Greek mythology, known for her love of her husband. Her life story was told by pseudo-Apollodorus in his Bibliotheca, and a version of her death and return from the dead was also popularized in Euripides’s tragedy Alcestis.

Family

Alcestis was the fairest among the daughters of Pelias, king of Iolcus, and either Anaxibia or Phylomache. She was sister to Acastus, Pisidice, Pelopia and Hippothoe. Alcestis was the wife of Admetus by whom she bore a son, Eumelus, a participant in the siege of Troy, and a daughter, Perimele.

The Silent Patient Euripedes and Alcestic

Mythology

Many suitors appeared before King Pelias and tried to woo Alcestis when she came of age to marry. It was declared by her father that she would marry the first man to yoke a lion and a boar (or a bear in some cases) to a chariot. The man, who would do this, King Admetus, was helped by Apollo, who had been banished from Olympus for one year to serve as a shepherd to Admetus. With Apollo’s help, Admetus completed the challenge set by King Pelias, and was allowed to marry Alcestis. But in a sacrifice after the wedding, Admetus forgot to make the required offering to Artemis, therefore when he opened the marriage chamber he found his bed full of coiled snakes. Admetus interpreted it a portent of an early death.

The Silent Patient death of Alcestic
The Silent Patient Heracles saving Alcestic

Apollo again helped the newlywed king, this time by making the Fates drunk, extracting from them a promise that if anyone would want to die instead of Admetus, they would allow it. And when the day of his death came near, no one volunteered, not even his elderly parents, but Alcestis stepped forth to die in his stead. Shortly after fighting with Thanatos, Heracles rescued Alcestis from the underworld as a token of appreciation for Admetus’ hospitality. In some accounts Persephone, ‘the Maiden’, sent her up again. But when she comes back alive she is mute. She chooses not to speak.

Human Emotions

Human emotions are different to understand. Sometimes we cry because of the sadness and pain that we are going through. Sometimes we are cry because of the joy and happiness it’s too overwhelming to control. Same emotions with different shades. The same can also be said to other emotions too like anger-rage, jealousy, guilt, lie etc. As Humans we are bound to these emotions. Our emotions make us who we are now and what we will be in future.

Our biggest mistake is that we don’t open up our emotions to others. We stay in our chained up in our own emotions, either to rage or angry with someone, or too happiness a   xnd love for something or someone, that nothing else matters. Sometimes our own emotion takes a turmoil that is dislike by others.
They fail to understand us. This is the reason that we cocoon our self within our emotions from others? We think “what is the use of sharing our emotions when there is no one to understand us?” Isn’t it true!!

Physiotherapist/ Psychologist

The scientific study of the human mind and its function, especially those affecting behavior in a given context – Psychology or in lame words we can call it “study of human mind”.

Sometimes we come across people, who are too overwhelmed by their own emotions. Sometimes we need help, someone who we don’t know, who can understand our emotions, well than any other people around us, who won’t judge us rather understand the storm raging inside us. The therapist is the only one person who can save us from our own emotions. There are many people who go through trauma at different stages of life. It becomes difficult to pass out such emotions. As some minds is complicated, and difficult to understand. Only a therapist can help in such a situation. There people who have gain benefits and changed their life for good.

Law Enforcement

Even Law enforcement uses Psychology to understand the mind of the criminals which is commonly known as “Police Psychology”. The goal of the police psychology is to ensure law enforcements is able to perform their jobs safely, effectively, ethically and lawfully.

The storyline

The story revolves mainly around Alicia who is a patient at “The Grove” and Theo who is a Physiotherapist, who is determined to treat Alicia. She is gone mute since her husband Gabriel death. She was silent during the trial, even through when she was accused of murdering her husband. Theo shows a keen interest in Alicia, as treating Alicia and making her speak again, will boost up Theo’s career. Will Theo succeed in treating Alicia?

What I like about the Novel

Alicia is a painter, who has a mesmerizing talent. She is deeply inspired by Alcestic from Greek mythology. Alcestic as mentioned above. She dies for her husband and when she comes back, she is mute. She chooses not to speak. Alicia finds the same connection with Alcestic. Theo Faber a Physiotherapist who is Alicia therapist. He wants her to talk. He wants her to see the truth. There are other characters in the novel that are in some way connected to Alicia. Author Alex Michaelides has astonishing way to capture the readers mind. Each character has their, own story to hide, which is reveal as you go deeper in the story.

The end is surely mesmerizing. As a reader, I surely enjoyed every part of it. My niece should surely be happy when she reads this book. She wants to be a Psychologist herself.

About the characters in the Novel

Alicia Berenson

A very talented artist. You can capture her emotions through painting. She loves her husband Gabriel to the core of her soul. She has a traumatic childhood, as her father hates her, since her mother’s accidental death. Still she fights to leave a normal life since her father suicide.

Her dreams are scattered by her husband’s murder. She relates to Alcestic as herself and goes mute like her.

Theo Faber

A Physiotherapist who is determines to treat Alicia Berenson. He wants her to speak again, which will help to boost up his career. Theo starts his own investigation about Alicia, where he tries to understand about Alicia and the reason behind her emotional trauma. He thinks his way to treatment can make Alicia speak again where others have failed.

Max Berenson

Alicia’s brother-in-law, Gabriel elder brother. He seems has a nice guy in the start of the story. He is in love with Alicia. On rejection from Alicia he forces himself on her. You can feel the rage as you read further. But at the end you see his emotional breakdown and you feel sad for him.

Jean-Felix

He claims that he loves Alicia more than Gabriel. But he never visited her at “The Grove”. He has a strange way of showing his love to Alicia. It’s seems his is more interested in her paintings rather in her.

My Review

“Truly mind blowing”. No matter how much you try to hide a crime. One mistake brings you back to the truth that you have hiding all this time.

About the Novel

Alicia
Alicia Berenson writes in her diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
Theo
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

Happy Reading !!!
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Tell me your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon
Sidney Sheldon’s After the darkness – Tilly Bragshawe
The Mountain Shadow – Gregory David Roberts
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
The Last Séance – Agatha Christie
Nancy Drew -The Clue of the Leaning Chimney – Carolyn Keene
Roman Diary Journal of a Young Slave – Richard Platt Illustrated by David Parkin

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