Book Reviews

Book Review #19/50 – The Silent Patient


I completed reading this book nearly ten days back and still think of it a few times … its a work of fiction that is gripping, a psycho thriller with a psychiatrist as the main character.

Alex Michaelides’ maiden novel is truly outstanding !!

Some of the excerpts from the book that I thought were mind-blowing ….

“…I thought of my old therapist, Ruth. What would she do? She used to say 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. Mental illness is precisely about a lack of this kind of integration – we end up losing contact with the unacceptable parts of ourselves.”

“…..About love. About how we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant”

“…..This wasn’t just about Kathy: it was about my father, and my childhood feelings of abandonment; my grief for everything I never had and, in my heart, still believed I never would have. And Ruth was saying that was why I had chosen Kathy. What better way for me to prove that my father was correct – that I’m worthless and unlovable – than by pursuing someone who will never love me?”

“….A simple analogy might be helpful: a leading psychiatrist in the field of sexual abuse once told me she had, in thirty years of extensive work with paedophiles, never met one who hadn’t himself been abused as a child. This doesn’t mean that all abused children go on to become abusers; but it is impossible for someone who was not abused to become an abuser. No one is born evil. As Winnicott put it: ‘A baby cannot hate the mother, without the mother first hating the baby.'”

I don’t know if the last excerpt is true but if it is, then its a very worrying thing for human kind – every abuser has been abused :(:(. We seem to be perpetuating a circle of abuse.

This book is definitely recommended and I am looking forward to the next one from this author. Totally gripping and disturbingly close to real life.

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