REVIEW by Beth: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty (@bunnybetha)
Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.
Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks,Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.
Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.
I received a free copy of The Hypnotist’s Love Story, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
There are a few things I found annoying about this book. It exasperated the hell out of me that Ellen found Saskia interesting. Really? Saskia’s doing some really whack-a-roonie stuff, creepy stuff, and Ellen wants to play social scientist. And what’s up with Patrick’s inertia regarding Saskia? Why doesn’t he DO something? The character I found most annoying was Patrick’s mother (but if I tell you why, it will be giving away too much about the story).
But–here’s what is great about Liane Moriarity’s story: She does a really good job of explaining, through her characters, why they are doing/not doing the things they are doing. The story, narrated by Ellen and Saskia, allowed me to get to know the characters, what they are feeling and thinking, why they do what they do. It’s like the characters are saying to the reader, “this is who I am.” We all make mistakes, have family drama in our lives, and most of us, at some time in our lives, get dumped by someone we love. The characters in this book are human, reacting to loss and being the object of someone’s obsession.
The dialogue in “The Hypnotist’s Love Story” flows easily, leaving the reader clear about who is speaking. The story flows well, with a few surprises along the way that made me sit up and take notice. This books covers so many issues–stalking, hypnosis, death, grieving, loss, love gone wrong, family dynamics–the list is endless. These issues are human ones, things we all have to deal with at times within our lives. For me, that’s what makes The Hypnotist’s Love Story so interesting–it’s about people who could be real. I was able to identify with the characters, all of them, and take pleasure in their journeys.
I found the introductions to each chapter of this book interesting and kind of fun. It gave me a “heads up” to what was going on in the chapter (sometimes making me think a bit hard, to make the connection, but that’s okay).
From Chapter 6:
“The rejected stalker is often a former intimate partner, with a complex, volatile mix of desire for reconciliation and revenge.” ?!! (Revenge for what? What did he do to her?)-Scribbled note by Ellen O’Farrell while Googling “motivations for stalking.”
From Chapter 9:
“Careful! -Mothers throughout the world, throughout time.”
In the end, I found The Hypnotist’s Love Story to be a good read (despite what I initially found annoying), interesting and complex, about human beings struggling to live their lives.
4 stars for a solid story, worth your time.