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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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“The Silent Patient” (Book Review)

Kaelynn+Torres+sits+in+her+apartment+reading+The+Silent+Patient+as+a+break+from+her+classes+one+afternoon.+
Emily Loughridge
Kaelynn Torres sits in her apartment reading “The Silent Patient” as a break from her classes one afternoon.

I have read a number of books in my short 20 years, but rarely have I read an entire book in one sitting. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides made that short list over Christmas. Interestingly, almost everyone I recommended this book to has also read it in a 48-hour span, which I think shows how much of a page-turner it is. Michaelides also provides one of the best plot twists I have read in a long time, as I was left without words after reading that section.

It starts with Alicia shooting her husband in the face. Five times at point blank range. Brutal right? What caught my eye in reading the back of the book was that after killing her husband, Alicia does not utter a single word for the next several years of her life. She is completely silent as she sits in a mental institute after undergoing trial, for you know, murdering her husband.

This is where our narrator, Theo steps in. Theo is a criminal psychotherapist whose attention has landed on Alicia and her vow of silence. As Theo changes jobs to begin working with Alicia, he realizes that he will have to cross a few work boundaries to understand that complicated woman before him.

It is well-known that Alicia was an artist, and she paints masterful works that gain more popularity after her death. After she is arrested, her art is displayed in a gallery, which is where Theo’s interest in the case seems to begin. He just can’t get her work – or her case – out of his head.

One thing that I loved in this book was the addition of pages from Alicia’s personal journal. It is evidently hard to understand someone and hear their voice if they do not speak. Therefore, her journal is our only source of information about what happened in the few months leading up to her husband’s death.

As Theo digs deeper into all of her relationships, it seems that everyone has something to hide. Theo throws his life into his work with Alicia, and it seems his personal life begins to take hits. Is his happy marriage as happy as it once was?

To avoid spoilers, I must stop there.

Michaelides gives more information about himself in a few pages in the back of my copy of the book, in which he says Agatha Christie, the queen of mystery, inspired him in his younger years. He also includes Greek culture into his book, as seen through a few references and key parts of information in his novel.

“The Silent Patient” is his debut novel, which makes this work more impressive in my eyes. He has since published two other novels, one of which has a release date of Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

 

Emily Loughridge is a third-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief
Emily is a third-year communication major from Union City. Emily is obtaining a minor in psychology, as well. She has been on staff for The Trend since the fall of 2021 and loves working with the writers on ideas! Emily also works in the Sports Information Department on campus as the Student Assistant, where she takes photos of the various athletic events and assists with the live broadcast. When she isn't studying or working, Emily can normally be found watching Scrubs, Reba, or How I Met Your Mother and enjoying ice cream on the couch with her boyfriend.   Experience with The Trend: Editor-in-Chief: Dec. 2022 - present Managing Editor: May 2022 - Dec. 2022 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022