Book Review: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
Working in the field of psychology begs people to ask questions about how the mind works and how people respond to unusual situations. This is particularly true for realms of psychology that some may view as mystical or as magical. Hypnosis is one aspect of psychology that I am frequently asked about when people express interest in the field and the first question I generally hear is, “Is hypnosis real?” with the second being, “Can a hypnotist make me do something I don’t want to do?” In The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty, a free book from librarything to review, the reality of hypnosis is questioned, examined, answered in the way that fiction novels do and the question of whether or not a hypnotist can make someone do something they don’t want to do is touched upon.
Did Liane Moriarty hit upon it realistically? Well, it’s a fiction novel. Psychology is highly subjective to the person. It made for a great story.
Ellen is a hypnotherapist living in the beach house her grandparents left her. By all accounts, Ellen leads a normal life, with the exception of having been raised by three women and never knowing her father. She dwells on this throughout the book, which leads to her eventual discovery of him. Sometimes people should be careful what they wish for, as our dreams are often better than reality. As Ellen discovers her father and the truth about who he is and how he came to be her father, she is also in the midst of a blossoming relationship with Patrick. Patrick is a widower with a young son who has a secret that he feels could harm them all: he has an ex-girlfriend who stalks them. Ellen, rather than fearing the stalker, is intrigued by her and the motivation she has behind stalking all of them. The twists in the story are somewhat expected, but it is still an entertaining story that I was able to read quickly. The ending felt inauthentic to me. I did question Ellen’s motives behind what she did as well as Saskia’s response: Is it what Saskia truly wanted? Is it what Ellen truly wanted? Throughout the book I questioned Ellen’s motivation for staying in a relationship for someone who was clearly living in the past and frequently wondered if she was there for the excitement Saskia provided. Would a stalker, too, intrigue you, or would you be fearful? Would you be able to relate to the stalker and her feelings? Would you have empathy for the loss experienced on all levels? Overall, this was a great read and I enjoyed it a lot.