Review: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.


I went so back and forth on this book. There were times I really quite adored it and others that I was a little bored and others yet where I wanted to throw my Nook at the wall.

Ellen is a hypnotherapist. I have to say after reading this book I kind of want to go see a hypnotherapist. Which is odd to say because I was raised to believe that being hypnotized was some crazy witchcraft that opened you up to being possessed by demons. But here it really sounded quite relaxing and not at all evil. Anyways, Ellen is 35 and single and has started dating a man she met online. She thinks he’s about to break up with her when instead he tells her he has a stalker, Saskia, his ex-girlfriend from several years ago. The rest of the story focuses on Ellen and Patrick’s growing relationship and Saskia watching it from a distance (and sometimes up close).

This is definitely a character-driven novel and Moriarty really excels at that. While I really got to know the characters, I never really connected with them. I didn’t feel like there was really any growth until the final chapters and a lot of the in between seemed a little repetitive and like “filler.” That’s not to say I didn’t like it, though. There were lots of humorous moments that helped to get through the more tedious parts.

The story is mostly told in 3rd Person POV through Ellen, but we also get Saskia’s 1st Person POV. For awhile I was really enjoying Saskia’s POV. She’s completely crazy, and on some level she knows she’s gone a little overboard, but mostly she thinks her behavior is completely rationale. It was kind of fascinating. However, after awhile I just wanted to shake her and say “Enough already!” I also wanted Patrick to get a restraining order already! And for Ellen to take it seriously. And for Ellen to just tell Patrick the truth about what she was thinking or feeling. There were just so many times I was yelling at her to “just say it already!” that it drove me a little crazy. Everything does eventually get out in the open, though. And I think I liked Saskia’s development the most.

Overall, I did mostly enjoy The Hypnotist’s Love Story. I do love a good character-driven novel and as I said, Moriarty is excellent at that. However, the character development, while quite in depth, was just a little too slow and a little repetitive for me to really love this book as much as I wanted to. Still, I think fans of character-driven novels and Moriarty will enjoy this.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

3 stars

4 thoughts on “Review: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

  1. Pingback: September 2015 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

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