It’s Friyay ya’ll! I’ve personally been a bit under the weather the last couple of days and kind of just vegging out to TV on the couch while I recover so I haven’t gotten a lot of reading done *woe is me*. I hope everyone had a fab-u-lous Valentines day, celebrating it however you enjoy or not celebrating it at all! I personally hate going out on important days (holiday, birthday, whatever) and prefer to cook at home. So I made my husband some Belizean food in honor of our Honeymoon and we had a very nice, very low-key evening with our pupper. However, I’m going out of town this weekend so I’ve got a lot of car hours ready for me to burn through some reads! I was killing the reading game in January but I’ve fallen a bit behind in February but we’ve got time to make that up! Anyway, today I’m bringing ya’ll a review for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides along with a recipe for a lightened up chicken curry!
So first off, can I get a “hell yeah” for Alex Michaelides for this stunning debut of a novel! I ordered this on a whim on Amazon because I didn’t want to wait through the 86 holds at my library and when it came in the mail I decided just to take one little peak. However, what actually happened, was me zooming through this thrill ride at break-neck speed and finishing it in less than 12 hours (I had to sleep ok). So needless to say, I quite loved this book.
Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband.
Alicia and her husband Gabriel are the *perfect* couple. Alicia is an up and coming painter and Gabriel is a noted fashion photographer. They’re young, they’re beautiful and they’re head over heels in love with one another. However, as with all thrillers that quickly comes crumbling to the ground when Alicia is found standing over her dead husbands body – after being shot in the face six times – and covered in both of their blood.
As everyone around Alicia grapples with this terrifying series of events and struggle to come up with a defense not just to save Alicia’s life but to understand how this could’ve happened their met with a brick wall. Only, that brick wall is Alicia and she’s refusing to say a word. Alicia sits idly by in the court room as she is vilified and damned for killing the only man she’s ever truly loved and still, she says nothing. As she’s saved from the death penalty and instead put in a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane, still she doesn’t say a word. Years and years go by, and still Alicia doesn’t say a word.
“We’ve talked about this before. Haven’t we?”
“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 a perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.” *can I get an AMEN*
Theo Farber is a criminal psychotherapist and he’s been following Alicia’s story since the beginning. Coming from a painful upbringing and life himself, Theo see’s parts of him in Alicia and he believes, no he knows that he can help Alicia heal. As he carefully but steadily dismantles his promising career and life in order to get a job at The Grove, where Alicia is being housed he moves his pieces about the chess board of life and gets closer and closer to Alicia hoping to uncover her story and get her to tell what happened between her and Gabriel once and for all.
As it turns out, Alicia feels a draw to Theo as well. At a slow, but not tedious and incredibly suspenseful pace, Alicia begins to open up and little bits and pieces of her story are falling out left for the reader and Theo to put together. What follows is easily one of the most suspenseful, exciting, thrilling and surprising stories I’ve read in quite a long time.
At the time I didn’t understand. But that’s how therapy works. A patient delegates his unacceptable feelings to his therapist; and she holds everything he is afraid to feel, and she feels it for him. Then, ever so slowly, she feeds his feelings back to him.
So first things first, as someone who has an undergraduate degree in Psychology (which means next to nothing in the field) but who has also been a major advocate and participant in therapy I loved the way it was portrayed in this book. Something that irks me to no end, is the way the entertainment industry portrays not just people who attend therapy but therapists themselves. The whole “and how does that make you feel” line really annoys the crap out of me because that’s not what therapy is about. I think Michaelide’s honored the profession and despite being a pretty intense thriller and how easily it could’ve been done, therapy was never vilified but admired.
So onto the meat of this story – what initially drew me in was the synopsis of Alicia killing her husband and then never speaking another word. I can’t quite explain why exactly that particular linchpin got me hook, line and sinker but it did. However, what gripped and held me and didn’t let me go from the moment I started it was an incredibly well paced story. Michaelides delivered a stunning and gripping plot, but what made it shine is that every piece of information the reader is given is given to you only exactly when it is needed to move the story forward. Nothing is sensationalized or used to provide cheap jump scare thrills. There’s a sinister undertone throughout the book and to me, The Silent Patient is the prime-o example of what the genre of psychological thriller is supposed to be.
Her silence was like a mirror – reflecting yourself back at you.
And it was often an ugly sight.
I don’t want to give to much away because again, this is one of the most surprised I’ve been in a long time by the final twists in a thriller book. I’ve been interested in reading this for quite some time, and I’m so happy I picked it up sooner rather than later. I guarantee this is going to be one of the top books of 2019 and if it’s on your list – pick it up, if it’s not – add it now. The prose, the pacing, the suspense and development into the story were all a complete slam dunk for me. This is absolutely the type of book that once you pick it up, you’re not going to be able to put it down until you’re done with it and know how it ends – and the ending, is quite the doozie. I’m thrilled by Alex Michaelides and really excited to see future works because this author knows how to get it done my dudes.
Long story short:
Michaelides right after publishing this book.
Suggested For: Fans of thrillers / suspense novels, anyone who can read, those looking for a knock-out debut author for 2019
Well there ya’ll have it! Another review in the bag. So for my recipe today I’m making a lightened up chicken curry. So a brief caveat: I know sauce is amazing. It’s literally liquid flavor, but sauces a) can take a super long time and b) generally aren’t super good for you. So, because I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather and also because I can’t handle super decadent food these days I opted to make a lightened up version for my recipe today. But DO NOT FRET my dudes, because I’m telling ya’ll not only is this recipe ridiculously easy but it’s packed full of flavor and is a go-to for my little family. So, off we go!
Prep-Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Pans: 1 *you guessed it… just kidding!* casserole dish!
Servings: 2 (but this is super easy to make larger quantities)
- 2 whole chicken legs (drumstick and thigh)
- 1 pound carrots (I halved mine lengthwise)
- 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2-3/4 cup rice
- 1 lime
Easy edits to make per preference:
- There aren’t a lot of edits I can see to be made to this because it’s such a simplistic dish, however, for the rice you can make stove-top rice but sometimes I use Trader Joe’s frozen rice and just add lime to it versus using the extra pan.
- If you have specific spices you like to eat with your curry, I think you could easily mix up the spices here to fit your pallet. You could add some crushed red pepper too if you’re looking for some extra spice!
- Pre-heat the oven to 475
- Place chicken and carrots in baking dish (I did not have to grease mine because it’s ceramic, however, if you’re using a pan you may want to grease it so nothing sticks).
- Evenly distribute spices to top and bottom of chicken, and distribute and rub / coat onto carrots as well.
- Bake chicken and carrots for 35-45 minutes (I always set my timer for half way then rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through cooking).
- When the chicken is just about done, prepare your rice. If you’re doing stove top rice bring 1-1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, add rice to boiling water. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove lid, add lime zest, cover and let steam for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- If using minute rice or something like that, I just cook it and squeeze lime juice over the rice and carrots I don’t notice all that much of a difference. *ALSO NOTE: always wash / rinse your rice before cooking.
Also, quick shout-out to The Traveling Sisters who suggested this book as a group read. Unfortunately, I didn’t get approved for an ARC for this one, but the reason I found it, is because it was being discussed in that group!
Quote: A couple of jolly Caribbean dinner ladies laughed and chatted as they served up bangers and mash, fish-and-chips, chicken curry, all of which smelled better than it tasted. *FYI, mine smells AND tastes amazing*
Music Mood: Lies by Trifonic
Another delicious recipe and a great read to knock off the list! I’m hoping to finish a couple of books in the next few days but as I mentioned, I’ve been slogging along through my current reads (not because they aren’t great, I’ve just been feeling blahhh) but we shall push forward!
Have you read The Silent Patient? If so, what did you think? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!