Friday 7 September 2012

Book Review: The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

'Hypnotherapist Ellen is fascinated by what makes people tick. So when she falls in love with Patrick, the fact that he has a stalker doesn't faze her in the slightest. If anything it intrigues her, and the more she hears about Saskia, the more she wants to meet this woman. But what Ellen doesn't know is that they've already met.

Saskia has been posing as one of Ellen's clients. Unable to let go of the life she so abruptly lost, she wants to know everything about the woman who took her place. And the further she inches her way into Ellen's world, the more trouble she stirs up.

Ellen's love story is about to take an unexpected turn. But it's not only Saskia who doesn't know where to stop: Ellen also has to ask herself what lines she's prepared to cross to get the happy ending she's always wanted.'

Liane Moriarty's contemporary fiction novel The Hypnotist's Love Story is the third book I've read as part of the AWW2012 Challenge.  It has been described as a 'perfect holiday read' and the book is definitely entertaining and easy to read. The plot itself wasn't particularly heavy, but I was very intrigued by the ideas in the book - that letting go is hard and relationships are never entirely without their issues, even when you're with the love of your life.

The story uses two points of view. One follows Ellen, a hypnotist, as she falls in love with Patrick and learns to deal with his stalker - Saskia. The second is Saskia's point of view so we can come to understand her motivations for stalking Patrick. Moriarty has created a lot of depth for both the female characters, and I especially enjoyed the opportunity as a reader to explore stalker mentality and Saskia's inability to let go.

I related a lot to the main character Ellen. I liked her semi-hippiness, her spiritual outlook on life, her fascination with people and what makes them tick, her ability to overthink every little thing and every little action. I liked her desire to know herself better, to understand her own motivations. I liked her self-awareness.

This book was thought-provoking in its own way. It made me think about the realities and complexities of relationships, and that love can make us all go a little insane at times. I appreciated the book's take on letting go - aside from learning to let go of past loves, we must also let go of expectations and learn to see the big picture. Ellen learns to stop over-analysing her life, and to just let things happen as they are meant to. In that respect the book is about learning to let go of control and 'go with the flow'. If there's a spiritual message to this book it is -  trust in life.

A very engaging, entertaining novel that was more than just a 'summer read' for me. This was the first time I'd read a book by Liane Moriarty and she has captured my attention. I now want to go back and read her previous novels. If you like stories about love and its hardships, you'll enjoy The Hypnotist's Love Story


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