Saturday, June 9, 2012
The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
From the author of critically acclaimed What Alice Forgot comes a wonderfully fun, insightful novel about the crazy things we do for love.
Ellen O’Farrell is a bit unusual. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s never met her father. And she can’t seem to keep a relationship going (okay, that’s more normal that we want to admit). When Ellen meets Patrick, she’s hopeful nevertheless. But when he says he needs to tell her something, she fears the worst. However, when Patrick reveals that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen thinks, Is that all? Actually, that’s kind of neat. She’s more intrigued than frightened. What makes a supposedly smart, professional woman behave this way? She’d love to meet her. What she doesn’t know is that she already has.
What an interesting book this was. It’s hard to really classify, as it isn’t really chick lit, but it’s not quite literary fiction either. I guess it’s a mix of the two.
I’ve always been fascinated by hypnotism, so one of the things I most enjoyed about the book were the descriptions of Ellen’s sessions with her clients. Ellen was also pretty interesting as a character, although my favorite was Saskia, the stalker. She had enough charm to steal each scene she was in. Patrick, the love interest and stalk victim, however, did nothing for me. He wasn’t a fully developed and seemed a bit of a jerk, so I couldn’t really understand why two women would love him quite as much as they did.
The story itself was fun, with many moments where I just couldn’t put the book down. I think, though, that the book’s marketing, which heavily accentuates the mystery of Saskia’s identity (which I won’t reveal) does it a disservice. It’s not nearly as mysterious as it sounds and it just disappoints the reader. I was waiting for a crucial twist in the story and never got it, which made me pout for a bit. If they’d never mentioned that bit of mystery, I would have taken it as it was, without disappointment.
I do recommend this for a fun summer read.