Book Review: The Maidens

THE MAIDENS | Alex Michaelides
06.15.2021 | Celadon Books
Rating: 3/5 stars


Mariana Andros knows Edward Fosca is a murderer. Fosca, a handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University is adored by staff and students alike – particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. Mariana is a brilliant, but haunted group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered at Cambridge. Despite Fosca having a rock solid alibi Mariana becomes convinced he is guilty of murder. When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control. 

I absolutely loved Alex Michaelides’ debut novel, THE SILENT PATIENT, and was thrilled to see he had a new title coming out this year. Books set in academic settings are some of my favorites to pick up, so after hearing the premise for THE MAIDENS I knew I needed to make this a must read. Michaelides does a phenomenal job of bringing Cambridge to life on the pages of this story and setting an at times claustrophobic location that is steeped in secrets. 

Despite having a setting that lends itself to tension and creep factor, ultimately THE MAIDENS felt underwhelming to me. I never bonded with the main character of Mariana throughout the entirety of the story. Her backstory felt disjointed and for someone who is labeled as being a gifted therapist, I didn’t see that play out. In addition to not loving the main character, I found the pacing to be slow with little action to hold my attention. Perhaps I’m biased because I was expecting the same thrill ride that THE SILENT PATIENT delivered, but I didn’t find myself sucked into this story until over halfway through. 

Overall, I liked THE MAIDENS, but I would have loved to see a bolder and more intense story.

🎧: I listened to this one over audio and highly recommend the narrator!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: A huge thank you to Celadon Books and for sending me free copy of this book in physical and audio format in exchange for my honest review.

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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