Source- Review copy/ Pan Macmillan Australia
Synopsis: Ellen O’Farrell is an expert when it comes to human frailties. She’s a hypnotherapist who helps her clients deal with everything from addictions to life-long phobias. So when she falls in love with a man who is being stalked by his ex-girlfriend 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. Saskia has been masquerading as a client, and their lives are set to collide in ways Ellen could never have predicted.
This wonderfully perceptive new novel from Liane Moriarty is about the lines we’ll cross for love. It’s about the murky areas between right and wrong, and the complexities of modern relationships.
Review: Ellen, a hypnotist, begins a new romance with Patrick, a widowed father who she meets on the internet. Patrick ticks all the right boxes, but comes with the added bonus of a stalker ex-girlfriend, Saskia.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story is written from the perspective of Ellen and intermittently, Saskia which proves for a nice well rounded perspective of the love-triangle.
Moriarty skilfully creates empathy in the reader, even for Saskia, a stalker who on the surface presents as desperate and absent of any dignity. Through the eyes of Ellen, she creates a curiosity for Saskia’s inner conflicts and her motives to persist with such an inappropriate pastime.
Unlike most chic lit which tells a story about a man and woman falling in love, The Hypnotist’s Love Story is more about staying in love and feeling secure within oneself and within a relationship. The author provides insights into the impact of previous relationships and how these experiences can seep into the current relationship at any given moment with any number of triggers. Moriarty also explores what it means to let go of love, to move on, to grieve and to let down your barriers to be content in a mature, intimate relationship.
Early in the story I found it difficult to connect with Ellen and Saskia on an emotional level, because for the most part the experiences of both were expressed intellectually. But I did eventually relax into the writing style and the characters established a level of depth that I could connect with. There were times when I think the author went a little overboard with adding aspects about the practice of hypnosis, perhaps because she researched this profession for the book and so her knowledge of it certainly came across.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story is an enjoyable read set in Sydney, Australia!
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