Author: Liane Moriarty
Published: Amy Einhorn Books; June 2012
Genre: Women's fiction
Synopsis: 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.
My Take: After reading What Alice Forgot (click title for my review) in 2011 and voting it one of my top books of that year, I couldn't wait to read Liane Moriarty's latest novel The Hypnotist's Love Story! I was so glad I did as I found this to be an incredibly intriguing story and one that sparked some seriously interesting conversation.
The hypnotist of which the title refers to is actually a hypnotherapist. Her name is Ellen and she practices out of her home by the beach that she inherited from her grandparents. Her practice is intended to bring a sense of calm to people's lives to help them deal with that which they otherwise believe they have no control over. Therefore Ellen also feels like her own life has a lot of order and calm.
In her thirties she has yet to meet the love of her life although she has had many significant relationships. One day however she does have a great date with Patrick and she soon believes he may be the one. However, Patrick comes with some baggage. He is a widower and has a son. But wait, that's not all! Patrick also has a stalker. A previous relationship who just can not let go, Saskia follows him and his son almost everywhere. Three years later it's become almost ridiculous as a part of their lives but it is slowly picking Patrick apart. He tried to go to the police once but they laughed at a big man being scared of a female following him.
Here's what makes The Hypnotist's Love Story a bit different (and might I just take a moment to say that the title makes the novel held within way more twee than it actually is), the story is told from the stalker's point of view too. You get Ellen's point of view of the relationship as it's happening and how happy she is (and how intrigued by the stalker she is!) but then it will switch to Saskia's point of view and you soon find yourself empathizing with her and not being mad at her at all. It's not confusing at all but very well done and it makes for a thoroughly interesting and intriguing read. The novel feels as though it must be building towards something bigger, some great cataclysmic event to finally stop the madness.
I found myself talking about this book with everyone, and asking if they have ever had a stalker or had stalkerish tendencies. Pretty much everyone has a story of some sort. I think that's what makes this story so readable. So yes, I highly recommend this novel!
Cover Lust: Honestly this cover is a drag. It says nothing about the story contained within. Major letdown.