29 The Silent Patient Book Club Questions and Snack Ideas

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If your book club is looking for an epic psychological thriller for discussion in 2024,The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides could be the perfect pick. I’ve curated 29 thought-provoking discussion questions specifically chosen for The Silent Patient to start engaging conversations.

It was one of the best dark, emotional, and unputdownable thrillers that I absolutely loved reading. Read my full book review of The Silent Patient.

I really enjoyed the themes of silence, mental health, art, and expression, so I’m sure there are many topics to discuss in your reading group. 

You can also find some delicious book club snack ideas and fun activities in this discussion guide. 

So if you are ready to start the discussion of The Silent Patient with your book club friends, let’s go.

Make sure you read till the end, because I’ve got thriller book recommendations that are a lot like The Silent Patient. Perfect books to read after.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Synopsis

The Silent Patient book club discussion questions
  • Goodreads Choice AwardWinner for Best Mystery & Thriller (2019)
  • Nominee for Best Debut Novel (2019)
  • The Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

Alicia Berenson, a renowned painter, appears to have it all—a perfect life with her in-demand fashion photographer husband.

However, everything changes when she shoots him five times in the face and stays silent thereafter.

This domestic tragedy transforms into a gripping mystery, propelling Alicia into notoriety. As her art’s value soars, she becomes the silent patient in a secure unit.

Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, is determined to make her talk and uncover the truth, leading him down a twisting path into his own motivations


29 Discussion Questions For The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

What was your initial impression of Alicia Berenson?

How did you find the dual narrative perspectives of The Silent Patient? Has it helped your understanding of the plot and the characters? 

What did you think about Alicia’s diary notes? Do you feel empathetic towards her?

Discuss the circumstances or events that caused Alicia to withdraw from verbal communication or reject speaking.

How did you feel about Theo as Alicia’s psychotherapist? Did you think he could eventually get her to speak?

The Silent Patient is described as a psychological thriller. What elements of the story created suspense and kept you engaged?

Discuss the theme of silence in The Silent Patient . How does Alicia’s silence impact the plot? 

Theo Faber wanted to help Alicia, despite the initial struggles.  What do you think motivates him to go to such lengths? Did you find his actions ethical?

 The Silent Patient explores the idea of perception versus reality. How did this theme manifest throughout the story and characters? 

Discuss the relationship between Alicia and Gabriel.  Did Alicia have a good reason to kill Gabriel?

How do you perceive the themes of mental health and trauma in The Silent Patient. Do you think Alex Michaelides has realistically portrayed mental illness in the story?

 Discuss Alicia’s statement that her father and Gabriel “killed” her. Why do you think Alicia often uses metaphorical language to express herself? 

 Can you draw any comparisons between Theo and Alicia’s personalities, motivations, or journeys?

 How do you think the psychiatric setting contributes to the overall atmosphere of the book?

 Discuss the relevance of the title of the book, The Silent Patient. 

Alicia Berenson is an artist. Do you think her passion for art contributes to the plot?

Discuss the role of unreliable narration in the book. How did it affect your reading experience and perception of the characters? 

The Silent Patient incorporates Greek mythology references, particularly the story of Alcestis. How does this add depth to the narrative?

 Discuss The power dynamics between therapists and patients in The Silent Patient

 The themes of obsession and love are very prominent in The Silent Patient.  Discuss the different forms of obsession portrayed in the book. 

The Silent Patient is a thriller that keeps readers guessing until the end. Were you able to guess any major plot twists? 

 Consider the role of secondary characters, such as Max Berenson or Jean-Felix Martin in the book. How do they contribute to the main storyline?

 Discuss the quote “Perhaps some of us are simply born evil, and despite our best efforts we remain that way.”

 The ending of The Silent Patient reveals a shocking twist. What were your thoughts and feelings about the resolution?

 What do you think of Alex Michaelides’ writing style? Did you find the prose engaging and well-crafted?

What are your personal theories or explanations for the final events?

 Discuss the use of suspense and pacing in The Silent Patient.

Theo Faber is portrayed as a dedicated and skilled therapist. Discuss his approach to treating Alicia and his determination to uncover the truth. 

Annapurna and Plan B productions will be teaming up for The Silent Patient movie adaptation. Who would you cast as the main characters?

The Silent Patient Book Club Snack Ideas

When choosing book club snacks for a psychological thriller book like The Silent Patient,  it’s best to select food that complement the dark and surprising nature.  So choose from smoked salmon bites to chocolate mystery cupcakes truffles that enhance thrilling discussion that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

The Silent Patient Book Club Activities

Here are some exciting book club activities to do while discussing The Silent Patient. 

  • Listen to The Silent Patient  soundtrack– Featuring music from Madonna, Rockwell Thompson Twins, and many more
  • Do a character analysis of each character from the book. Ask questions or prepare a short presentation analyzing the character’s motivations, actions, and their impact on the story. 
  • Do a Greek mythology exploration: Delve deeper into the Greek mythology references in The Silent Patient. Assign different mythological tales to each member and have them present the story to the group
  • Create a unique Silent book club experience by dedicating a portion of the meeting to silent reading. Have everyone bring their copies of “The Silent Patient” and enjoy reading in a quiet, serene atmosphere

Books Like The Silent Patient

  • The Maidens by Alex Michaelides: I really enjoyed reading this book after The Silent Patient. Both are psychological thrillers that delve into the complexities of the human mind. The Maidens adds a element of academia, secret societies, and a charismatic professor to the psychological intrigue.
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover : Another compelling choice to read. There are lots of  suspenseful and secrets.  It also has themes of unraveling mysteries and the consequences of confronting the past.
  • The Perfect Marriage Jeneva Rose: The story follows  Sarah Morgan, a defense attorney, faces a similar challenge of defending her husband against a murder accusation. There are lots of parallel between Sarah and Alicia. 
  • Watching You by Lisa Jewell : Another psyoclogical thriller that keeps you hooked until the very last page. This story unfolds in Bristol, England, involving the enigmatic headmaster Tom Fitzwilliam, his troubled wife Nicola, and  his teenager son Freddie.

Frequently Asked Questions about The Silent Patient

  • What is the summary of The Silent Patient?

The Silent Patient is the story of Alicia Berenson, a famous artist who is convicted of murdering her husband and subsequently goes silent, refusing to speak. Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, becomes obsessed with Alicia’s case and takes a job at the psychiatric facility where she is held. As Theo delves deeper into Alicia’s mind and tries to unravel the truth behind the murder, he uncovers dark secrets and a shocking twist that changes everything

  • Why is The Silent Patient so good?

The Silent Patient is praised for its gripping plot, psychological suspense, and unexpected twists. It keeps readers on the edge of their seats, constantly questioning the truth and unraveling the mystery. The narrative is skillfully crafted, and the exploration of themes such as silence, obsession, and the complexities of the human mind adds depth to the story.

  • Should I read The Silent Patient?

If you enjoy psychological thrillers with intricate mysteries and complex characters, The Silent Patient is a great book. 

  • Is The Silent Patient a scary book?

The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller, not a horror thriller. However, it  does have moments of intense suspense and psychological unease

  • Should I read The Silent Patient before The Maidens?

The Silent Patient and The Maidens are standalone novels by the same author, Alex Michaelides. While The Silent Patient was published first, the two books have separate storylines and can be read independently of each other.

  • Is there romance in The Silent Patient?

The Silent Patient is primarily a psychological thriller, it does contain elements of romantic relationships.

  • What are the trigger warnings for The Silent Patient?

As a psychological thriller, The Silent Patient contains themes and scenes that some readers may find triggering. These include depictions of murder discussions of mental illness, schizophrenia or psychosis, trauma, child abuse, and references to self-harm. 

Related post:

The Silent Patient Book Review & Summary

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Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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