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The Silent Patient: Silence Isn’t Empty, It’s Full Of Answers

the silent patient

A warm welcome to my first book review session! After long procrastination, I got myself to read a brilliant non-fiction psychological thriller: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. This book hooks the readers to psychology by analyzing, outlining and evaluating the mind of a criminal. At some point, get ready to be unable to take your eyes off the book. The author will take control of your mind by magnetizing your thoughts and suspense to enthral and fascinate. Later, you will find yourself dumbfounded. I thoroughly enjoyed it as a reader and as well as a psychology student.

GIST OF THE BOOK- 

They say, silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers. You might have come across people who go silent after an argument, fight or mental breakdown. This wholesome novel set me at the edge of the seat by soaking me into a psychological mystery with unexpected well-bred suspense. 

Here Alicia Berenson is the silent patient. She is a renowned artist and she loves her husband, Gabriel Berenson to an extent, where she fears that her emotions can overwhelm and it can turn out to be a threat to him. She maintains a diary to record her feelings and exposes her innermost fear of being cautious not to provoke pain and worry in him.

Besides, one day, late at night, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times on his forehead. From then on she doesn’t utter a word to police investigations, trials and therapy.

After several years, while an entire psychiatric unit gives up on her. Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist gets his hands on this case. He becomes determined to release Alicia from her silence. The story is narrated by Theo Faber investigating the crime and revealing his own life story too.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK –

The book absorbs the readers to knock out with excitement. Since the novel revolves around psychotherapy, the citation of quotes involved great workers in the field of psychology, like Sigmund Freund. Subsequently, you will be allowed to wear the cap of a psychotherapist in few chapters and at some point, you will find yourself in the place of a criminal.

As a psychology student, I could see myself as Theo. But the message implied to the end opened me to a newer and broader perceptive of lives. Ultimately, everybody who is working in the field of psychotherapy deals with unhealed traumas as the same person sitting opposite in a different way.

The book starts with a question on the initial page, ‘But why does she not speak’- Euripides, Alcestis. A Greek myth of a sad love story that intends to connects the dots of Alicia’s life in the end.

WHAT I LEARNT FROM THE BOOK-

It perfectly synchronized that love can’t skim through everywhere at all phases of life. ‘Forever is a lie’, we become blind and delusional that we no longer can see through our life. All of us have been betrayed and lost trust in someone we loved the most. Once it is lost, it’s hard to recover. And it is also hard to digest when the person you loved the most does the unexpected to you. Letting go of that person will save yourself and the loved one from many clutches.

TOP THREE FAVOURITE LINES FROM THE BOOK – 

  • Once you name something, it stops you from seeing all of it, or why it matters.
  • The real motivation was purely selfish. I was on a quest to help myself. I believe the same for most people who go into mental health. We are drawn to this particular profession because we are damaged – we study psychology to heal ourselves.
  • We are made up of different parts, some good, some bad; and that a healthy mind can tolerate this ambivalence and juggle both good and bad at the same time.

PS: If you haven’t read the book, please go grab a copy. Else you will miss out on an amazing wholesome book. If you have read the book, comment below on what you liked about the book. Have a good day.

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