Name: The Hypnotist’s Love Story
Author: Liane Moriarity
This novel kept me turning pages. The main character’s thoughts engaged me. I had to know what was going to happen to her.
5%. Generally, I like more dialogue. This novel held a lot of “in her head” chatter that did get to me, occasionally.
Who should read:
Just about any woman who has ever been in love.
Summary: This is the story of Ellen O Farrell, a hypnotherapist who has had three unsuccessful relationships. Now a thirty-something, Ellen doubts she’ll find Mr. Right. So when she meets Patrick, she is pleasantly surprised that he likes her, she likes him, and he appears normal. Patrick is widower with one son, who also seems lovely. The catch? Patrick’s ex-girlfriend—Saskia, whom he met after his wife’s death—is stalking him.
Patrick’s stalker remains in the shadows for quite a while. Ellen is both intrigued and worried by the stalker. When Saskia finally reveals herself, Ellen realizes the woman is a client of hers. A client she rather likes.
Without telling all, the relationship between Ellen and Patrick progresses, and Ellen remains unsure if Patrick really loves her. Saskia’s stalking continues and readers constantly wonder what will happen next.
Throughout the book, I found myself wondering if Patrick truly loved Ellen. It’s why I kept reading. Other tidbits kept me turning pages as well. Without spoiling the ending, I’ll say Moriarity took me up and down and all around before revealing Patrick AND Ellen’s true emotions.
Characters: Moriarity engages her readers through the main character’s thoughts. To say she is deep in POV is an understatement. Every thought Ellen has is out in the open, and I loved it. While other characters were occasionally interesting, most definitely, the well-developed main character, the hypnotist, was the center appeal.
To mention a little more about other characters:
- Patrick was aloof. I liked him, but Moriarity intentionally doesn’t reveal too much about him so readers must wonder (and worry) if he is committed to his relationship with Ellen.
- Saskia is crazy, yes, but Moriarity creates something appealing about her also. I found myself seesawing between, “Ah the poor girl was jilted,” and “She’s freakin’ nuts.”
- Patrick’s son is a normal child and is there more to reveal Patrick’s nature than his own.
- Ellen’s three ex-lovers are weaved into the story to reveal more about her.
- Others: Ellen’s mother and two godmothers, Patrick’s ex-mother- and father-in-law, and a few others I felt no attachment to whatsoever. That didn’t take away from the story. Ellen’s bigness made me love it.
- Storyline: The start was not as interesting as some novels. Yet right away, I found myself imagining all sorts of scenarios on Ellen and Patrick’s first date. Is he crazy? Is there really a stalker? Moriarity puts enough doubt in your head to make you question everything. You become invested in Ellen’s tale. About three fourths through I grew tired of Ellen’s thoughts and felt some forced storyline. Toward the end, it picked up again. Simply, the main conflict, the hypnotist’s love story, kept me reading. There were other small conflicts here and there, but as simple as it sounds, what held my interest was finding out if Ellen’s fourth love affair would work.
- Writing style: The writing was superb. I’m not sure another writer could so cleverly craft a simple story and keep their reader’s attention. It wasn’t deep or insightful, but there were simple underlying life lessons. Moriarity’s descriptions are clever. Pacing is good, but generally, I like more dialogue—which is the only reason I struggled between giving this a 3.5 or a 4. Her writing boosted it upward. The book did not disappoint. Not much depth to the storyline, an easy voice, I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed read.
Read this author again: Absolutely. Already did. See my 5-star review of Big Little Lies.
CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, a psychological thriller, and Dream Wide Awake and Project Dream, two thrillers that carry a paranormal element. These last two novels were inspired by Zahner’s own experiences. See the video of her own paranormal experience, a premonition of 9/11 here. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, or LinkedIn. Purchase her books on Amazon.