by Jessica Asbell
Alicia Berenson, famous painter, killed her husband. That much is clear. But why? When the police found her at the scene of the crime, she was silent — and bleeding — because after killing her husband, she tried to kill herself. After doctors saved her life, she remained silent. But she did make a statement in a painting.
While under house arrest and awaiting trial, Alicia painted a self-portrait titled Alcestis. A little-known Greek tragedy, Alcestis relates to Alicia more than her psychotherapist, Theo Faber, realizes. Theo has come with one intent: to help Alicia find her voice. Since her husband Gabriel’s death six years ago, Alicia hasn’t uttered a word. Fascinated by her case, Theo jumps at the chance to work with Alicia.
Over time, Theo discovers the commonalities he shares with Alicia. As the line between doctor and patient is blurred, Theo becomes obsessed with making her speak. In between his sessions with Alicia and his “detective work,” readers learn that he cannot contain his own demons. Theo and Alicia seem destined for a crash. And when Alicia does start to speak, Theo learns much more than he anticipated.
Alex Michaelides keeps the reader guessing throughout The Silent Patient. Is Alicia crazy? Is she paranoid? Or is she telling the truth? Why did she kill her husband? Who can be trusted? The Silent Patient is filled with twists and turns, as both Theo and the reader work to put together the clues of Alicia’s life.