The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Once saw this book I knew I wanted to read it for two reasons. One, the story is about a stalker and after reading Zashiki Onna I kind of find stalker books to be interesting. Two, the main character isn’t freaked out about the stalking. She finds it intriguing and actually wants to meet this person. That’s just weird. Most books with stalkers are usually psychological thrillers, but this one was different. So for those two reasons I knew that I need to read this book.
The book is about two people. Ellen, a hypnotherapist who has recently became an item with Patrick. And Saskia, the former girlfriend of Patrick who has a funny habit of showing up wherever he is for the past three years. Ellen’s scenes are in third person, while Saskia is in first person.
I actually really loved the two different perspectives between Ellen and Saskia and I really liked that Patrick, who is the person that ties the two women together, doesn’t really play a big part in the story. This is a good thing, because I didn’t like him. But it’s also a bad thing, which I’ll explain later on.
There is romance in the novel, this is a love story after all, but it’s not the main focus of this book. What I took from this story is the journey of two women to find happiness. Ellen has to figure out what she wants in a relationship, as well as figuring out her place in Patrick’s life, while Saskia has to figure out a way to get herself out of his life and be happy. The contrast is nice and I liked that the author went this route instead of something more predictable. Like Saskia being crazy and Ellen being in fear because she finds hair in her bed or something.
Even though Saskia is kind of…extreme, she comes off as sympathetic and relatable, which is weird because I’ve never contemplated stalking someone. Ever. Regardless of this small fact, you do find yourself rooting for her to get better and leave her addition behind her. She’s flawed and very human, which is why I liked her so much.
Ellen, while interesting enough as a character, didn’t pull me into the story as much as Saskia did. Her hypnotherapy is interesting and her fascination with Saskia, while weird, is kind of cool at the same time. But the more she got involved with Patrick, the more her story stopped being interesting to me.
I also felt like this novel had a lot of characters with many of them meshing into one another.
Patrick, the man behind this whole kerfuffle, was someone who needed to be developed but wasn’t. He’s very one note and during the beginning scenes with Ellen he was just creepy.
There is a scene in the novel (around page 50 or so) when Patrick introduces Ellen to his son, Jack. While Jack is watching a DVD, Patrick and Ellen are having a serious discussion about his Saskia problem. He isn’t pleased and doesn’t want to talk to her, so he decides the best course of action is to change the subject. The subject, well he asks her to go upstairs with him for a few minutes.
...He goes to his girlfriend’s house with his son. He gets his son to watch a DVD. He talks with Ellen about Saskia, isn’t pleased, so stops and asks for a quickie while his son is in the other room.
This hasn’t ever happened to me, so this may be normal for couples who have kids. But I always thought that when you introduce your child to someone, you, I don’t know, want to spend the evening getting your son or daughter use to the person you’re dating and not go upstairs for a quickie.
Then again, I’m not too familiar with this kind of scene so I could be wrong.
He’s also shown in an even more annoying light when he starts talking about his dead wife whenever Ellen is around. He reveals why later on and stuff, but I didn't like that about him either.
I think I'm being a bit harsh on him and I know that this story is more about Ellen and Saskia, but I just wish that Patrick was a better character because I honestly don’t understand what was so great about him.
I really enjoyed the plot, Saskia, and the writing, but I do wish that some of the other characters were developed a bit more and that Patrick was written better. Overall this was a fun read, so definitely check it out if you're looking for women's fiction that's different.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5