The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty; 2011
I LOVED this book! I found The Hypnotist’s Love Story both laugh-out-loud funny and compassionate. Ellen is in her thirties who hasn’t had much luck with relationships, although she has a successful career as a hypnotherapist.
Ellen begins dating Patrick, a widower with an eight-year-old son. Patrick reveals a few dates into their relationship that he has a stalker – his ex-girlfriend Saskia. Instead of being frightened or repelled, Ellen is interested: she’s dating someone worth stalking.
As Ellen’s relationship with Patrick progresses, so does her at-a-distance relationship with Saskia, who always seems to turn up. Ellen remains intrigued, rather than threatened by the stalker. Morarity also allows us access to Saskia’s perspectives, and helps us understand how her obsessive behavior may have developed.
Moriarty has the ability to tackle difficult, serious subjects with humor, and Ellen was a very likeable and relatable protagonist. My only regret was that there wasn’t more of a twist or mystery to this one. Morarity is very skilled at a nicely executed twist, and in Hypnotist there was a moment where a huge shift was suggested, but then it ended up not amounting to much. Regardless, this was a fun, enjoyable read. The Husband’s Secret is nearing the top of my to-read pile!