The Maidens

I started writing the review the moment I finished reading the book. Then I thought; hold on… Let that sink for a bit. So, I let it be for two days and here I am today.

The more I think about it the less sense it makes. Nonetheless, Alex Michaelides is my instant purchase author.

Let us begin with saying that this book should not be compared to his debut ‘The Silent Patient’. You shouldn’t start reading The Maidens with the high expectations of it to be similar or ‘as good as’ his first novel. And this is not saying that is wasn’t good; The Maidens was brilliant in it’s own way.

I felt that as if the author was trying too hard to keep up with the level of his first novel and that didn’t pay well…

I still cannot stop raving about The silent patient as I still recommend it to everyone. Alex’s writing is gripping and both his books are basically page turners. Once you start reading you cannot let go.

The Maidens was my most anticipated read of 2021…


Mariana is a group therapist. One day she gets a call from her niece in Cambridge University, telling her that her best friend Tara was murdered.

After that call, Mariana heads to the University. She was a former student in Cambridge as well. She had also met her husband there. So, going back was tough on her in many levels. Having a difficult past, losing both her father and husband. She never had a clear mind.

Once she got there she was introduced to Edward Fosca, the handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor. She was very sure that he was the murderer. Especially when she learns that he was almost worshiped by a group of females known as ‘The Maidens’.

After trying to prove that he was the murderer, another dead body was found; Fosca seemed to have an alibi. Now her speculations are all over the places.Making her look Unreliable. Determined to find out the killer, she is willing to lose everything; even if it costs her her life.

I loved the idea. I loved the characters. I loved the setting.
Being a person who doesn’t really know a lot about Greek Mythology and Ancient Greek stories, the author did a great job writing about it without having the reader get confused or needing a research to understand what was going on.

The whole story reaching the end was gripping. The way the red herring were planted throughout the story was actually good. By the end of the novel when I found out what really happened; I was thrilled because I had my eyes on at least three character’s to have a hand in the murders.

Mariana is very paranoid and is the kind of person who uses filters to see people. Sometime’s because we believe in something, we can’t see things clearly. Especially when we had a traumatic childhood. The impact would last a life time if there was no awareness of it. And will be the cause of everything wrong that happens to us,.
When Mariana calls Ruth, her supervisor and asks for help and probably enlightens her on what to do…. Ruth says

Unfortunately, the end arrived too fast; and it ended quickly. I mean the last scene was wrapped up in a way that it left you wishing there was more… In a way I still feel that there was a gap to be filled. There was something missing. I cannot put my finger on it.

Do I need more of Mariana’s background? More of her Marriage life?
Do I need more letters from this mysterious person? I don’t know.

As you read through; you will have chapters read by a different person, most likely a man. He is presumably the killer. because I also listened to the audiobook; those chapters were read by a man. In those chapters, he gets to explain how he was abused as a child, how his mom has betrayed him by leaving him with his abusive father; how he will never forgive her…

One of my favorite things about this novel. The universe or world The Maidens was set in. It is the same as his first novel. There was a character crossover between the first novel and this one. The way he (because I kept trying to remember who Theo Faber was.. The name was very familiar. When I researched the name I was literally screaming. Our main character Mariana asks her colleague ‘ Theo Faber’ The main character from the silent patient for help, since both are therapists. So, in this one you get a glimpse of The Grove again.
I am looking forward more books with similar characters being mentioned..

You have your dark academia, you have the rituals, the sacrifices, the secret group….

Yet, somehow I cannot say that this is one of my favorite reads. I would recommend it of course if you are looking for a good page turner book that allows you to look for clues, wondering who’s done it? But as a whole it’s an okay read for me. I gave it 4 stars. I will still look forward more by the author though. He’s such a good story teller.

I would want to explain more and express further feelings but I’d spoil. So we’ll leave it like that.

Book Details:
Author: Alex Michaelides
Pages: 352