ST CHRISTOPHER’S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, IS A CLOSED WORLD TO MOST.
For Mariana Andros – a group therapist struggling through her private grief – it’s where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it’s the tragic scene of her best friend’s murder.
As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked to its core by the murder of one of its own.
Because behind its idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens. A group under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca.
A man who seems to know more than anyone about the murders – and the victims. And the man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana’s investigation – an obsession which will unravel everything.
THE MAIDENS IS A STORY OF LOVE, AND OF GRIEF – OF WHAT MAKES US WHO WE ARE, AND WHAT MAKES US KILL.
As a massive fan of The Silent Patient this has been a hugely anticipated read for me. Thank you to the publisher for my gifted finished copy of The Maidens. That second book can be a challenge, we all know that right? But that pressure must be immense when the debut is as successful and brilliant as The Silent Patient. I had seen some mixed reviews of The Maidens and I think this is to be expected, but I wonder if unconsciously this contributed to me delaying picking up this book, I have had it since publication after all.
I was surprised then to find myself completely absorbed in this story from the outset. Mariana is our protagonist, grieving the loss of her husband and true love, she heads back to Cambridge when her niece calls, distraught that her best friend is missing and a body has been found.
A strong and original murder mystery, Alex Michaelides has demonstrated once again his skill in creating a strong, sharp plot, shrouded in intrigue, designed to keep the reader guessing, and we know already this author knows how to twist a story. Every aspect of this book I loved, the campus context, the mysterious Maidens and their professor Edward Fosca, the teaching of the classics and the references to Greek mythology all kept me engaged. Mariana’s psychotherapy background added another layer to the story and I loved the references and links to characters from The Silent Patient. I finished this book wanting to read The Silent Patient and The Maidens again and that strikes me as very skilled storytelling!
I remember closing The Silent Patient and having to pause to gather my thoughts, I immediately felt that I wanted to read the book again, through the new lens based on what I now knew upon finishing the book. The Maidens didn’t quite have that effect but I was struck how nuanced the writing is, how talented the author and how brilliant the storytelling!
I would highly recommend this book, it’s a superb thriller and a fairly quick read at around 350 pages. Intelligent, sharp and detailed this should have wide appeal. Have you read The Maidens yet? What did you think?
You can read my review of The Silent Patient here.
Thanks as always for reading.
About the Author
Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He had an M.A. in English Literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an M.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient was his first novel. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and sold in a record-breaking 50 countries. Alex lives in London.