The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

IMG_0621“So it looked like it was happening.  She was at the beginning of something new.  Here we go again.”

The Hypnotist’s Love Story is an intriguing, character driven read.  It follows hypnotherapist Ellen O’Farrell who enters into a relationship with widower and single father Patrick.  Ellen’s past relationships have been in no way ideal, so when things seem to click with Patrick, it is very exciting.  But things are far from simple, as Patrick has a secret that greatly affects his life and their relationship.  That is, Patrick has a stalker.  His ex-girlfriend Saskia has been unable to move on after their break-up three years earlier, and has become fixated on Patrick’s life.  A life she was once very much a part of.  When Patrick reveals this to Ellen she is not scared or worried, but curious.  And as it turns out, Saskia is not a total stranger to Ellen.

The story takes turns providing Ellen’s and Saskia’s perspectives as Ellen’s relationship with Patrick grows and progresses.  Ellen is going through regular challenges that come with building a relationship, with the added stress of Saskia showing up wherever they go.  She finds this unsettling of course, but there is also a desire to understand Saskia and her motivations.  There is depth to both of these characters, with Ellen’s voice being compelling and Saskia’s truly heartbreaking, allowing us to understand and empathize with them.  More than anything, The Hypnotist’s Love Story explores the complexity of human emotions and examines the challenges of relationships in a real way.  As a fan of character driven stories I really appreciated the book as a whole.  It is intriguing, beautifully written, and highly enjoyable.  This is the first book I’ve read by Liane Moriarty and I look forward to exploring more of her work.

“I couldn’t act like a normal person again when she now knows me as a crazy person, because that would imply I have a choice. That I can choose to be crazy or normal. And if I have a choice, then that would imply that I’m not really crazy at all, and I should just stop it and get on with my life.”

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