Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hynotist's Love Story

The Hypnotist's Love Story, by Liane Moriarty.

Afterward, they went for dinner at that Thai restaurant on the corner where he told me he loved me for the first time.

I wonder if they sat at the same table.

I wonder if he remembered, just for a second. Surely I am worth a fleeting thought.

I couldn't get a table. They must have had a reservation - she must have done it, he would never bother. So I went to a cafe and I wrote him a letter, just trying to explain, to make him see, and I left it on the windscreen of his car.

I am looking forward to my next appointment with the hypnotist.

The Hypnotist's Love Story, stalking, Liane Moriarty, pregnancy
Back in June, I read What Alice Forgot for the BlogHer Book Club, and since then I have wanted to read more of Liane Moriarty's work. Moriarty writes with a certain wit, even when the situations are serious, and it makes me laugh out loud during some pages; she's a fantastic writer.

The Hypnotist's Love Story is her newest book, and what I really loved about it is that there are two distinct parts: the chapters alternate between Ellen (the hypnotist's) story, told in third-person omniscient point of view, and Saskia (the stalker's) story, in first-person.

Ellen has recently started dating the widowed Patrick, who she met online, and on one of their early dates he tells her about his stalker, Saskia. Saskia and he dated for about three years, and she helped to raise his son, Jack; he abruptly dumped her about a month after her mother passed away, and since then she has been stalking him. She's not a violent stalker - she doesn't hit or harm - but she emails him, leaves him notes, and calls him constantly, as well as follows him and Jack when they go places. Ellen can't help but be intrigued by Saskia, probably because she's a psychiatrist of sorts, but this comes to a head when she realizes she's already met Saskia: she's been masquerading as one of Ellen's clients, though to be fair the problem she comes in for is real.

I had a lot of empathy for Saskia in this novel, because it did seem like Patrick dumped her rather harshly; he should have at least let her to continue to see Jack, who seemed like her son, almost, since she raised him while Patrick was working. That being said, she is indeed a crazy person, and Ellen and Patrick try to steer clear of her as much as possible. Some of Moriarty's humor comes through still, however - in one example, while on a plane going for a long weekend with Patrick, Ellen remembers with horror that she told Saskia where they were going (when Saskia was one of her clients), and she wonders if she's on their plane. Then Saskia's part chimes in, saying something like "I'm on the same plane as them, but tickets were expensive."

I loved this book, and am looking forward to reading Moriarty's other two novels. I've seen this book listed on "summer reads" or "beach reads" lists online, but I think it's appropriate for any season, really, or anyone looking for a good read.

5 stars out of 5.


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