Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn
*Beware of Spoilers*
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.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story is one of the most unique books I’ve read. It delves into issues I never thought would be interesting, but I am fascinated with this type of dynamic. Moriarty did a great job with these nuanced characters.
Ellen, bracing for Patrick to dump her, is hilariously quirky. While Patrick in in the bathroom she talks herself out of liking him until he tells her about his stalker. At that point, she’s interested in the psychology of it. Patrick presents his side and Ellen mulls over the information. She can barely contain herself; she needs to know more. Patrick’s stalker has taken it upon herself to meet Ellen while Ellen is blissfully unaware.
Moriarty puts the reader into Ellen, Patrick and Saskia’s head. Reading about their feelings and outlook drew me into the book. Patrick and Ellen fall in love quickly and seamlessly until Saskia’s presence begins to weigh on both of them. I found many parallels in the Saskia/Patrick love story as I did with Ellen/Patrick. How did it go so horribly wrong with Saskia?
It seems that Saskia becomes Ellen’s stalker. Initially I though Saskia was just pitiful but it wasn’t long before I began to feel empathy. We’ve all been dumped and most of us have probably done a few of the things Saskia did to Patrick. But I had never tried to understand the “ex-girlfriend’s” point of view. The Hypnotist’s Love Story brought it home to me that I need to think about how it feels from another point of view.
In the end, Saskia and Ellen are not that different but the timing was off. Patrick finally acknowledges his part toward the end of the book. I was touched that he, and his mother, realized how unfair they had been to her especially concerning Jack.
The character development is amazing. I got to learn and grow alongside the 3 of them. When Saskia finally realizes what she has done to her life, what she has lost due to the stalking, I almost cried.
She has no friends, no life all because she became obsessed with Patrick, Jack. She has done real damage to her life that cannot be easily undone. She took the stalking too far. It took such an event to wake her up to reality.
It would be easy to write-off Saskia as a total nut job, but that would not be fair. She deserves to be heard, to be understood as well. Maybe if we all tried a bit harder, situations like this would happen less frequently. It’s important that we all realize our personal responsibility toward others.
I think this is a great book all around, although not for young adults. The situations are too mature for YA. I think men and women will like the book. I also think it’s a great book club option.
There is a lot of meat to the story. It would be fun to discuss it with others.