She Reads: ‘The Maidens’ by Alex Michaelides

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“Edward Fosca was a murderer. This was a fact. This wasn’t something Mariana knew just on an intellectual level, as an idea. Her body knew it. She felt it in her bones, along her blood, and deep within every cell. Edward Fosca was guilty. And she would catch him.” – The Maidens (Prologue) 

Within the pages of this week’s novel lies an entire world woven with mystery and Greek mythology. Alex Michaelides’ newest release, ‘The Maidens’ is laced with an elegance only the archaic past can provide. Set beyond the walls of the beautiful, long standing Cambridge University, a young student is murdered and there are all too many suspects. 

As the story opens, we meet Mariana Andros, an incredibly talented group therapist who is committed to helping her clients despite hurting deeply herself. The story opens a year after the death of Mariana’s beloved husband, which continues to cause daily strife. She aches over the dimly glowing memories of the two of them, along with their adopted daughter, Zoe. Zoe is a student at Cambridge University, as her adoptive parents once were, and the best friend of the recently discovered murder victim, Tara.  

Tara was a notably beautiful and intelligent young girl with some troubling underlying struggles. While the primary suspect slips beneath the investigator’s gaze at first, Mariana is determined to prove exactly what has happened, and resolve a host of her own ghosts that remain inside the walls of 800-year-old Cambridge. 

 As she dives into the investigation, she finds herself pulled into a mysterious world of Greek myth and tragedy and encounters disturbing suspects such as the revered professor Edward Fosca, who Mariana immediately senses to be a dark individual.  

Who is the bizarre group known as The Maidens, and what do they have to do with the painting of the Greek tragedy by Titian—Tarquin and Lucretia? 

Mariana is determined to bring every answer to light as she deep dives into her past, and one of ancient tragedies long ago, but is she prepared for the darkness it takes to get there?  

I sincerely hope you all enjoy the book selection for this week, dear readers. Alex Michaelides is also the author of previous book of the week, “The Silent Patient” which captivated me so completely last week, I had to go in search of his next book. Michaelides writes in a way that poses such crucial questions that by the time you think you have answered them all, you realize the surface has barely been scratched. Try to keep up, and as always, enjoy. 

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