This is the second novel written by Alex Michaelides, and after reading his debut novel, The Silent Patient, I was really excited to get my hands on The Maidens.
I did mention that this is a stand-alone novel, and both of Michaelides’ books are, but he ties them together with linked characters, which I thought was done really well. You don’t have to read one to understand the other, but it was cool to see some recognizable characters pop up in The Maidens.
A brief premise, before I go any further… A young, widowed, group therapist (Mariana) gets a phone call from her niece (Zoe) in university. Zoe’s friend goes missing and soon after is found dead. Mariana is first concerned with Zoe’s well-being, but is soon absorbed into investigative work.
Why I Can’t Recommend The Maidens
I really enjoyed the read, however, I don’t think I would recommend this book. First, I didn’t care for any of the characters. I said this about The Silent Patient as well. Every book needs at least one likeable character, and The Maidens is missing that.
Mariana is weak. Yes, she’s upset about the loss of her husband, but it seems she has poor judgement with just about everything in life.
Zoe is ungrateful. Her aunt comes when called and stays as needed, and she doesn’t even show an ounce of appreciation.
The teachers, detectives, investigators, students, and potential love interests – they all have an air of pompous that makes them annoying or unlikeable. Fred being the only exception, but he is so clumsy, you think there must be something insincere about him.
That’s my number one reason for not recommending this book – unlikeable characters. But the second reason is that the ending is rushed. You find the killer, and the book ends within a chapter. It makes you feel like the rest of the book was just a long-winded dance around the anti-climactic end.
My final reason for not liking or recommending this book – Henry. He’s a filler character. He serves no purpose.
I was disappointed overall – I had high hopes, especially since The Silent Patient did so well. I will certainly give Alex Michaelides another chance. He is a strong writer, and an easy read. I’m sure The Maidens will do well.
If you’ve read The Maidens, I’d love to hear your opinion in the Facebook group!