This is a prime example of an enticing story written in a not particularly enjoyable way.
I don’t know why but I didn’t warm to the author – who’s writing style is not for me – but thinking about it, maybe he’s done too good a job. I mean, the central character, Theo isn’t very likeable and the story is mostly told from his perspective. I found him too snivelling and condescending.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago. When she shot her husband in the head five times.
Since then she hasn’t spoken a single word.
It’s time to find out why.
I enjoyed mute Alice and her diary entries though, which piece together the story of what happened on the night she allegedly slaughtered her husband. The question is, did she do it and why would she? And when she refuses to speak, how’s anyone supposed to find out?
Theo, an ambitious young psychotherapist is convinced he’s the man to get her talking, if he can just get her off the heavy meds and painting again. But Theo has his own issues to worry about, what with his wife working later and later every night – and his own dark feelings of failure, left over from childhood.
Overall I thought this was good in terms of the story and setting, though perhaps it’s not as clever as it thinks it is – and I found the writing functional but boring. I doubt I’d pick up another by the same author.
The Silent Patient plays into a lot of my own fears about home invasion, so as the tale unravels it made me feel more and more uneasy. Although, that tired old trope about the mentally unstable woman imagining all the mysterious goings on? Done with it.
3.5/5 for being a decent weekend page turner, 2/5 for the writing