The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
Upcoming Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Keywords: stalkers, online dating, hypnosis, widows, single dads
Format read: ARC won in Goodreads contest!
Summary: When Ellen, a hypnotist for a living, meets Patrick online, she can’t believe her luck. He’s everything her ex wasn’t and that’s a good thing. So when Patrick admits he has a stalker, instead of being freaked out… she’s sort of intrigued. And that’s when things get a little out of hand.
While only one character is a hypnotist, this book covers 3 people who are in some version of a trance. Hypnotist Ellen, burdened by her past failed relationships and her Type A personality, thinks she understands love when she is just beginning. Patrick, a widowed single dad, has been relentlessly stalked by his ex-girlfriend for way too long and has yet to do anything about it. And finally there is Saskia, Patrick’s ex-girlfriend who realizes she is crossing the line with her stalking but is unable to control it or her love for Patrick and his son.
So Patrick is under a trance of guilt while Ellen & Saskia are dealing with with the ideals and truths of love.
In an engrossing novel, set in Australia, this novel shifts from the POVs of Ellen and Saskia as their lives continue to intersect. While it starts a little slow and sometimes Ellen’s overthinking feels arduous, this love story is worth trudging through the first couple of chapters.
Because it gets oh-so good
There are several references to Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and many moments when I feared this book could cross some Lifetime lines. Somehow Moriarty managed to build up such drama without letting the story spiral out of control. It was so creepy yet heartbreaking and I was surprised to find myself relating to stalker Saskia and totally feeling for her. (Yes, I’m admitting that.)
Patrick wasn’t exactly innocent when it came to Saskia either. And this was one plotline I felt could make or break the entire book for me. Why wasn’t he filing a restraining order? (But still keeping diligent notes about Saskia’s intrusions?) I feared the moment this story could go off the deep end and make Patrick out to be a totally ridiculous character. I am here to assure you his reasons are presented very realistically, even if it takes awhile to get there. Moriarty did a great job of creating an unbiased perspective for all of these charactes and I much appreciated that.
As far as hypnosis goes, I have no knowledge of it at all and found those bits extremely interesting as we got to see Ellen work with her clients and even from the little snippets that began each chapter. The details were never too technical and were mostly told through Ellen’s interactions with her clients. When hypnosis manages to creep into her relationship with Patrick, I just kept thinking… gee, I could never date a hypnotist. While her career was a strength, it was clever how the author made it part of her own self-consciousness too.
It’s been awhile since I read a nice piece of adult fiction, especially after coming down from the high of an amazing YA book (Dreamland Social Club), but The Hypnotist’s Love Story was just the ticket. It kept my attention, toyed with my emotions (yet was constantly amusing), and kept me at the edge of my train seat until the very end.