AUDIO

The Silent Patient

7 CDs. Macmillan Audio. Feb. 2019. 8:30 hrs. ISBN 9781250317544. $39.99. digital download. F
COPY ISBN
Michaelides's debut is a captivating study of the characters linked to Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who inexplicably shot the husband she loved and then chose never to utter a single word again—not even to defend herself as she was tried and then institutionalized in a secure psychiatric facility in London. Theo Faber, a psychotherapist determined to help Alicia, tells the story of how he tried to unlock her secrets and get her talking again. Sandwiched between his storytelling, Michaelides scatters entries from Alicia's diary of the days leading to that ill-fated night to help build suspense and intrigue. Some aspects of the story seemed predictable, but the emotional twists and amazing turns will carry readers through the most contrived plot points. The narration by Jack Hawkins and Louise Brealey is like a two-person theatrical performance. Hawkins artfully uses different voices to portray each character, capturing the emotion and complexity of each individual. Brealey's reading of the diary stirs empathy and a deep understanding of Alicia's tragic character.
VERDICT The book is receiving much-deserved buzz, but the audio production and exceptional narration make the characters feel real. ["Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable": LJ 11/1/18 review of the Celadon hc.]

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