One of our recommended books is The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

THE SILENT PATIENT


The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

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,

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The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

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.

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  • Celadon Books
  • Paperback
  • May 2021
  • 368 Pages
  • 9781250301703

Buy the Book

$17.98

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About Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides is the author of The Silent Patient, Photo: Wolf Marloh

Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He has an M.A. in English Literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an M.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient was his first novel. It spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and sold in a record-breaking fifty countries. His second novel, The Maidens, will be released June 2021 by Celadon Books. He lives in London.

Photo: Wolf Marloh

Praise

“Impressive first novel… with an ending worthy of a classic Agatha Christie mystery.” The Wall Street Journal

“Pulling off a novel where the protagonist stays mum isn’t easy, but this impressive, immersive debut―Brad Pitt’s company has snapped up film rights―establishes Michaelides as a writer to watch.” People, Book of the Week

“An unforgettable―and Hollywood-bound―new thriller… A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.” Entertainment Weekly

Discussion Questions

1. The story begins with the revelation Alicia murdered her husband. Why do you think the author made this admission at the very start?

2. Alicia’s diary plays a key role in the book. What purpose do you think it serves? And does your perception of Alicia change the more you read?

3. Alicia’s silence is related to the Greek myth of Alcestis. How do you feel about the story of the myth? Why do you think Alicia is silent?

4. Theo’s motives to work with Alicia are complicated. Do you think he wanted to help her?

5. Both Alicia and Theo had difficult childhoods. Early on, Theo says no one is born evil. That who we become depends on the environment into which we are born. By the end of the novel he appears to change his mind, saying that perhaps some of us are born evil, and, despite therapy, we remain that way. Which do you think is true?

6. Weather plays a large role in the book, such as the heat wave during the summer. What purpose do you think the description of the weather serves in the novel?

7. Do you think the world of a psychiatric unit was convincingly portrayed? How do you feel about Diomedes and the other psychiatrists?

8. We never enter Kathy’s mind in the book. Do you have any sympathy for her?

9. What do you think happens at the end of the book? The last line is ambiguous.

10. It’s a psychological thriller with a twist. The author has said he was influenced by Agatha Christie. Did you feel this was simply a detective story or are there any other influences you can spot?