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The Hypnotist's Love Story

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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 something long-term. 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.

446 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Liane Moriarty

39 books60.4k followers
Liane Moriarty is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret, and Truly Madly Guilty; the New York Times bestsellers Apples Never Fall, Nine Perfect Strangers, What Alice Forgot, and The Last Anniversary; The Hypnotist’s Love Story; and Three Wishes. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.

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5 stars
25,700 (18%)
4 stars
55,944 (41%)
3 stars
43,860 (32%)
2 stars
8,706 (6%)
1 star
1,493 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,136 reviews
Profile Image for Karen.
Author 1 book10 followers
January 1, 2014
I have one word for this book: deceitful. She's a good writer, offering fun dialog and characters to like and dislike. But if an author is going to write as though something big is going to happen at any moment, please, God, that author should make something happen ONCE in 432 pages. Just ONCE. Something. Anything. So many missed opportunities for a good story here. I don't know that I'll read What Alice Forgot anytime soon, because that's even longer, and the torture I feel from this story, or lack thereof, is too fresh. (Oh, one big flaw. A man takes a woman for a romantic getaway to the same hotel that he took his ex/current stalker to just a few short years before? And that woman doesn't mind? Riiiggggghhhht.)
Profile Image for Carolyn Hill.
431 reviews73 followers
October 9, 2012
OK, I know this is more chick lit than great literature, and I hand out five stars like my favorite gourmet handmade chocolates, but for sheer entertainment value, I'm tempted to give this full accolades. I loved this story. The Hypnotist's Love Story tells about the romance between Ellen, the hypnotist, or more accurately, hypnotherapist, and Patrick, a grounded surveyor who is a widower with an eight-year-old son. Ellen comes to find out there is a third wheel (or fourth if you count the dead wife) in the guise of an ex-girlfriend turned stalker. Saskia, the stalker, will not leave Patrick alone - constantly leaving him text messages, letters, flowers, and following him even on dates with Ellen. Unable to elude her and never knowing where or when she may show up, Patrick is understandably angry and stressed. Ellen, whose career is built on helping people cope with debilitating problems, is intrigued by the idea of a stalker. Ellen's calm and soothing demeanor, her positive focus, and her penchant for New Age thinking are the perfect antidote to Patrick's tense wariness. She posts Buddhist quotes on her refrigerator and helps clients deal with pain, infertility, and smoking habits. She is nice and totally likeable. Unknown to her, the stalker is also a client. This is an interesting set-up, but the author, Liane Moriarty, makes it compelling by giving a first person voice to Saskia, the stalker, while Ellen's story is in third person. In doing so, Saskia, while her actions are repellant, becomes sympathetic. We come to understand her obsession, and how normal can tip over into crazy. What elevates this book above average chick lit is it never feels contrived. Moriarty is a compassionate writer and has a gift for creating sympathetic characters with warmth and humor. She is wonderful at setting a realistic scene with dialogue and self-talk that ring true, and her children talk and act like real kids. Though she captures the every day, her story is above the ordinary, and when she deals with emotions, she handles them with genuine care, never becoming cheesily sentimental or maudlin. For those who may think the set-up is an unrealistic situation, with a woman stalking a man for years, I had a conversation today that was eerily coincidental. I was catching up with a man I hadn't seen in years, and he was telling me about the problems he was having with a woman stalker, how it had affected him and disrupted his life. Having just finished this book today, I felt like I could understand his situation a little better, how a stalker could make you feel powerless and out of control of your own life. Thanks go to Liane Moriarty for expanding my perspective in a totally enjoyable way.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,035 reviews568 followers
November 17, 2021
I’m a big fan of Moriarty’s books, but I pretty much disliked this one from the start. I’m sceptical about hypnotism, so the title put me on edge anyway, but it was really the story, or rather the lack of a story, that sealed the deal.

Ellen is a professional Hypnotherapist, she helps people quit smoking, lose weight and overcome irrational fears etc. She’s single and keen to settle down, if she can find the right man. Along comes Patrick, a widowed surveyor with an eight-year-old son – is he the man she’s been looking for? Unfortunately, amongst the baggage he brings with him is an obsessed ex-girlfriend.

I can’t really go into the story any more, because there is really no more to it than that. I kept waiting for the surprise, for the twist Moriarty always introduces – it never came. There are familiar settings and the normal chit-chat with friends and family, but it’s uniformly dull. There are also few laughs to be had. And it’s way too long and becomes horribly repetitive. My final criticism, and maybe one that applies to all of her books, is that I don’t think she draws men well. They are always secondary characters in her work but it’s most noticeable here with the one dimensional and totally dislikeable (to me, anyway) Patrick.

For readers yet to discover this Aussie author, the good news is that most of her books are excellent - just give this one a miss. I’m happy to write this one off and look forward to her next book in the firm belief it’ll be a continuance of her fine overall form.
Profile Image for Jaline.
444 reviews1,603 followers
February 17, 2018
I like Liane Moriarty’s writing a lot. Her characters are always somewhat off center, yet always very interesting and appealing in so many ways. I also enjoy her plots and her descriptive writing.

This book was somewhat of a disappointment, however. There is a stalker, old boyfriends, new boyfriends, unresolved parent issues, old girlfriends, new girlfriends, and people who aren’t what they appear to be. All of that should have been interesting. Unfortunately, the only character that really had his act together in any substantial way was an 8 year old boy who didn’t really receive sufficient air time. Maybe that’s why he appeared to be more mature than his elders.

There was more teenage angst and more obsessive behavior in this book than there should have been considering the youngest adult character was 35. So many times, in so many ways, this book just didn’t feel appropriate for the age groups that were featured. The characters were not endearingly ‘off center’ in this book, they were annoyingly so.

The premise was good and could have been very interesting. As it was, the hypnotherapy aspect was, indeed, very interesting. Even there, however, we got into ethical issues with bad choices and I was wondering how that could possibly be charming or even acceptable.

This book was a shaky 3.5 Star read for me and because it felt rushed and not enough time was spent resolving all the issues with any sense of growth or deeper understanding on the part of the characters, I rounded it down to 3 Stars.

Despite that, I plan to read more of Liane Moriarty’s books as I have enjoyed those I have read in the past and hope to enjoy more in the future. In good conscience, this is not one I would recommend unless you have no problem overlooking immature, unethical, and undeveloped behavior and ways of relating from people in age groups who should know better.
Profile Image for Julie .
4,000 reviews58.9k followers
July 27, 2016
The Hypnotist Love Story by Liane Moriarty is a 2012 Berkley publication.

After reading ‘What Alice Forgot’ a little while back, I vowed to read anything I could find written by Liane Moriarty. Little by little I have been able to sneak one of her backlisted titles into my reading schedule.

One thing about this author and her books, is that each one is special and very different. Yet, the style of writing has a signature that is unique to this author, and I can’t quite find a way to describe it. Whatever it is about her skill as a writer, it holds me spellbound from start to finish, no matter what genre is represented or the subject matter.

This book is no exception. I had no idea what to expect when I started this novel. I wasn’t sure if it was a novel of suspense or contemporary fiction, or both. For the most part, I would place this one in the contemporary fiction category, even though there are moments of suspense, but I never felt threatened or worried, exactly, but there was an underlying feeling of unease.

Ellen is a hypnotherapist who recently began dating Patrick, a man she met through an internet dating site. Patrick is widowed, with a young son, and comes fully equipped with his very own stalker. Yes, a stalker!

However, Ellen does not initially find this situation all that disturbing. In fact, she’s rather intrigued by it. She is delirious with curiosity about this ex-girlfriend, and wonders what has precipitated her obsession with Patrick. She wants to see what she looks like, and maybe even meet her. But, Patrick can only think of how to rid himself of her once and for all.

The story is told from the dual perspectives of Ellen and Saskia, each relaying a different perspective on Patrick and his son, Jack.

It goes without saying that of all the characters in the book Saskia is the most disturbed, and despite the image we typically conjure up in regards to stalking, this character generates a fair amount of sympathy.
However, Ellen suffered from the inability to maintain a long term relationship, which could be tied up with her upbringing, one that intentionally excluded her father.

With the focus on Saskia, and the impact she is having on Patrick, the profound effect his wife’s death had on him is not immediately visible.
As we get to know Patrick, we see he is a very conflicted, and rather illogical at times. His treatment of Saskia was not handled well, which may have contributed her overreaction to their breakup.
I think a lot was made of the female stalking angle, and it is true that four out of five stalkers are men. However, it’s not exactly unheard of for women to stalk men, as has been documented several times with celebrities.

Still, people do tend to think that men aren’t affected in the same way, but I thought the author did a terrific job of showing what living with a constant third party in one’s life might feel like, as Patrick is always on edge, checking rearview mirrors and turning his phone off, and growing so weary of having to stay on guard at all times, and may always suffer some lingering side effects from living this way for so long a time.

However, ultimately, this story is about learning to let go. While Ellen is the central character, the person most effected by Patrick’s past, as she tries to carve out a future with him, everything seems to hinge on Patrick’s ability to move on and accept that he can experience guilt free happiness.

There were some controversial moments, and I some thought provoking scenes, which would make for some lively discussion, but overall, this is really a rather curious love story, with each character taking monumental steps toward maturity and stability, and closure.

In the end, each person accepted the cards life dealt them and made the best of it, even experiencing happiness and peace they never thought possible.

But, to be clear, the story is not super heavy, or dramatic. It fact, it has that strange, whimsical quality to it that kept things on the lighter side, without losing its intensity.

This is another original story from Liane Moriarty, which is one of the reasons I enjoy reading her books so much. I don’t think this is the strongest novel in her repertoire, but it was a nice change of pace and certainly held my fascination and attention, as well as keeping me amused and entertained.

Overall, 3.5 rounded to 4
Profile Image for BookLover.
385 reviews81 followers
February 8, 2018
“I thought Patrick was my perfect love story. Except he's not. He's the hypnotist's love story. I'm the ex-girlfriend in the hypnotist's love story. Not the heroine. I'm only a minor character.”

This was not, in my opinion, a love story. If asked to describe this book to a friend, I would say The Hypnotist’s Love Story was fantastic storytelling about a woman who didn’t really know what she wanted and another woman who didn’t have the coping mechanisms to let go of the past. There were three main characters in the story - Ellen - the Hypnotist, Patrick - Ellen’s new love interest and Saskia -Patrick’s ex and stalker.

Though Patrick was a main character in the book, we really only got to see his personality and thoughts through the two women in the book. This story was really told from Ellen and Saskia’s point of view.

I really liked that we got to see Saskia’s point of view. Very often, in stories about stalkers, their characters are very one dimensional and we don’t really get a view into what drove them to their behaviours. Though I kept wanting to scream at her throughout the book to get help, I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. Patrick broke up with her in a pretty unforgivable way. While most would have been able to move on, Saskia clearly didn’t have the support or coping skills to do that. I truly felt her anger and helplessness over the situation, particularly since a young child was involved and Saskia not only lost Patrick, but his son, Jack, whom she helped raise.

“if he'd ever just said, "I'm sorry," and meant it, then I think I could have let it go. Perhaps then I would have eventually healed, like people do. Instead it got infected. It spread. Like gangrene. It took hold. It's his fault. I know what I do is unacceptable. Deep down I do know this. But he started it”

I’ve often thought that when a relationship ends, it can feel like a death. I believe, to a lesser extent, you go through some of the same stages as grieving the death of a loved one. So, again, I could totally relate to Saskia and her socially unacceptable feelings.

“If Patrick had been killed in a car accident, I would have been allowed to grieve for him for years. People would have sent me flowers and sympathy cards; they would have dropped off casseroles. I would have been allowed to keep his photos up, to talk about him, to remember the good times. But because he dumped me, because he was still alive, my sadness was considered undignified and pathetic.”

Ellen’s character was so different from Saskia. From her, I truly got the impression that she had a pre-conceived notion of what equated to happiness and was looking to check off the boxes. So it came as no surprise to me that when she got these things, she was not suddenly feeling happy and fulfilled. I see this all the time and have been guilty of it myself. I think the message that I took away from Ellen’s story was that happiness comes from within and you have to accept the people in your life for who they are instead of being disappointed when they don’t match up to your unrealistic fantasy. Only then can you truly enjoy having them in your life.

Very early on in the story, as Ellen talked about the ethics of her using her hypnotherapy skills on people she knew all the while wondering what was going on in Patrick's head, I kept thinking to myself --- careful. This could be a slippery slope.

I will admit to not feeling too much sympathy for Patrick throughout the novel. I can’t help but wonder, if the roles had been reversed and it was a woman being stalked instead of the man, would my feelings have been different? I’m embarrassed to say that I think the answer may be yes. Once I put aside my anger towards the way Patrick treated Saskia, I think I was able to finally see what a terrible stress her actions must have put on him.

Love every word of this story!!!
Profile Image for Tania.
1,185 reviews268 followers
February 11, 2015
I hated him. I still loved him. But I hated him. And ever since then it's been hard to tell the difference between the two. If I didn't hate him so intensely, maybe I would have been able to stop loving him.

Okay, so I am apparently a bit of a booksnob. Everytime I read a book by either Liane, Jodi Picoult and now also Joshilyn Jackson I always point out that this was just a fun read in between more serious reads, a palate cleanser if you will. Well, I've decided those days are over. Why would it be any easier writing these books than a historical fiction novel. I herewith proudly announce that I am officially a chick lit reader.

Liane Morairty is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, I have now read all her books, and is anxiously awaiting the next. I love her characters in this title, you feel for everyone even the "bad" stalker. In fact, I think I had more empathy for her than for anyone else in the story. The author has the amazing ability to look at real issues while making you laugh out loud. It was interesting learning more about hypnotherapy. I strongly recommend any of this authors titles if you've not tried it before.
Can anyone please recommend similar authors?
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,160 reviews2,009 followers
June 19, 2014
I liked the book but it was way too long. Nothing actually happens for much of the time and yet the author seems to be promising so much that never actually materialises. I think my imagination went to work as soon as the word stalker was used and I expected some thriller type action and blood. (Perhaps my imagination needs to calm down a bit.) On the other hand it is a good story with some interesting characters written in Liane Moriarty's very readable style. She has written several better books than this but I enjoyed it anyway.
Profile Image for Rachel.
352 reviews156 followers
April 16, 2022
The Hypnotist’s Love Story is centered around the hypnotist, Ellen, and her partner Patrick. The story is told from the POV of Ellen and Patrick’s stalker, Saskia (and I really love that name, btw).

Anyway, if you were to read the blurb you would think this might be a scandalous thriller of a novel but it’s actually a lovely, funny and warm story about love (romantic and familial) and growth. I was pleasantly surprised! The hypnotherapy practice Ellen runs was such an interesting aspect of the story.

Saskia was such a fascinating character, and I’m glad she was so complex and sympathetic, and not made out to be some crazy villainess. Her love for Jack was so heart wrenching.
The members of both families and the other minor characters were great as well, it was easy to get a sense of the family dynamics.

Despite the fact that this is a fairly long book, it has LM’s trademark addictive prose and it was a fairly fast read, for me anyway. I’m excited to dip into more of her books soon, I really liked Nine Perfect Strangers too.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,111 reviews8,041 followers
May 5, 2019
Highly enjoyable, addictive, page-turning, as most Moriarty books are. But I definitely enjoyed this one more than some of her others.
Profile Image for Bianca.
1,023 reviews881 followers
December 11, 2018
Liane Moriarty, you are one terrific writer/person. Each novel I read makes me feel even more in awe of your talent and in-depth knowledge of what makes women tick.

It's astonishing how complex and realistic your characters are. You even managed to make me sympathise and empathise with a stalker! Actually, my heart was broken for her. Big time.

This is probably my favourite novel of yours. Your writing was so good and convincing, I feel like now I have less disdain for hypnotists. That's a small miracle in itself! :-)

There's only one more novel of your back catalog to go through and then I'll have to wait for your next book to be published ... sigh ...
I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.

This goes towards my Aussie Author Challenge 2018 on www.bookloverbookreviews.com
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,878 reviews266 followers
April 18, 2017
*4.5 stars https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
Australian author Liane Moriarty is a household name, thanks to her dazzling novel and now television mini series, Big Little Lies. I thought it was a high time I tried another book from her backlist and my selection, The Hypnotist’s Love Story certainly was an interesting read.

The Hypnotist’s Love Story does in fact feature a practicing hypnotherapist as the star of the story. Ellen O’Farrell is a successful hypnotherapist, owning her own practice in Sydney. She has a trio of failed relationships in her wake, however, her latest, with a handsome widower named Patrick seems to be more promising. That is until the day when the two are enjoying a romantic dinner and Patrick awkwardly drops a bombshell – he is the victim of a stalker. Initially, Ellen is not fazed by this revelation, as Patrick’s stalker has yet to impact on her life. Things change when Ellen and Patrick’s relationship steps up a notch and they eventually move in together. As well as negotiating a determined stalker, Ellen and Patrick face other issues in their burgeoning romance. These complications include legal threats to Ellen’s reputation as a respected hypnotherapist, the reappearance of Ellen’s absent father and Colleen, Patrick’s deceased wife. As we travel along with the characters of this novel, we become involved in a contemporary romance tale full of love, heartache, loss, grief and devotion.

Initially, I thought The Hypnotist’s Love Story was going to be a simple contemporary love story but I was surprised that this book offered something a little different. Yes it is about relationships and love – in a number of different forms, but it is also a story of obsession and more importantly, the fixation on the glory days of the past.

Moriarty has a knack of creating great characters and this continues to be the case in The Hypnotist’s Love Story. Ellen is a woman I likened myself to immediately. Being roughly the same age as her, I was easily able to put myself in her shoes, both career and personal life wise. Ellen’s career in particular completely fascinated me and I enjoyed reading the acknowledgements in the back of the book that referenced Moriarty’s research in the area of hypnotherapy. The Hypnotist’s Love Story certainly gave me a better understanding of and a new found respect for the field of hypnotherapy. I enjoyed the parts related to Ellen where she laments on her doomed previous relationships and where they went wrong, which was realistic as well as interesting. As well as being narrated by Ellen, the book is also told from Saskia, the stalker of the story and Patrick’s ex girlfriend’s point of view. Moriarty has again excelled in the character domain, in her creation of the character of Saskia. For Saskia is a woman we hate, as well as love. Moriarty has portrayed the character of Saskia in such a way that it is impossible not to develop any sympathy for this woman. Through Moriarty’s depiction of this sad woman, I felt her grief over the loss of her mother, as well as the demise of her relationship with Patrick. Saskia’s behaviour is despicable, but you cannot help but root for her, which is something Ellen also struggles with. Patrick, the main male protagonist and love interest is clearly integral to this story. We are not however privy to his direct feelings in the story, as Moriarty has chosen not to include this point of view in the novel. We understand how Patrick feels and reacts via Ellen and Saskia. I did like the fact that Patrick wasn’t depicted as the ideal knight in shining armour love interest. He does have baggage and he is flawed, but there was still something about him that I could see was appealing to the female characters in the novel.

As you can see, The Hypnotist’s Love Story is a book strong in the character realm. The supporting characters add a little quirk and humour to the novel, as well as complications to this non linear romance. Perhaps what I will take away most from my reading of The Hypnotist’s Love Story, was the focus on those parts that are beyond the hearts and flowers side of new relationships – the baggage, the previous relationships and the emotions attached to the past that we inevitably bring into our relationships, no matter how hard we try. An unconventional love story, with light as well as dark moments, The Hypnotist’s Love Story is another sign of greatness from the talented Ms Moriarty.
Profile Image for James.
Author 18 books3,533 followers
March 20, 2022
I'm not even sure where to begin with sharing my thoughts on The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty. It's perhaps my favorite book that I've read in 2022 so far, and it's one of the author's earlier novels. Truly, it captivated my full attention, as I could hardly put it down all day. It's nearly twice the size of a typical novel of its genre, yet it read like a trim novella in so many ways. The characters were mesmerizing, in particular the near perfect beauty (I'm not talking physical) of Ellen, the protagonist and hypnotherapist. She makes one or two mistakes in her reactions to a situation, but otherwise, she handled everything thrown at her in the best possible manner. I cannot say the same for her boyfriend who should've dealt with this stalker much sooner. As readers understand his story, they might forgive him, but the tragedies could've been avoided in multiple ways. But that's human nature, ugly flaws and all. I loved the ending... I felt like it could've continued for a dozen more chapters, and I would've invested hours more of my time. Moriarty is stellar at building suspense in a simple, poignant manner where I just kept rooting for Ellen to permanently find her happiness, worrying with every scene that it might be stolen away.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,723 reviews6,664 followers
April 25, 2019
Far from my favorite from this amazing author. However, as someone who is certified in clinical hypnotherapy, the hypnosis aspect of this novel is legit. Moriarty definitely did her research which I highly respect.

My favorite quote:
“Hindsight, it's always just a fraction too late.”
Profile Image for Sharon Orlopp.
Author 1 book308 followers
December 31, 2022
Liane Moriarty's book, The Hypnotist's Love Story, is a fascinating novel about human behavior. Patrick is a widower with a young son when he enters a relationship that lasts for several years. When Patrick ends the relationship, the ex-girlfriend stalks him for three years.

Patrick falls in love with Ellen and Ellen finds the stalking situation intriguing and doesn't feel unsafe.

Ellen is a hypnotist who hears clients voice various thoughts when they are hypnotized. Imagine what happens when Patrick has Ellen hypnotize him so that he can drift off to sleep easier.

Fast paced read.
Profile Image for Nancy.
369 reviews130 followers
March 16, 2021
This is my first Liane Moriarty novel and from what I've read, it seems to stray from her other novels, so maybe it's a good thing that I read it first. The Hypnotist's Love Story had an interesting premise and I was entertained while reading it. I found the hypnotherapy aspect interesting, but I especially enjoyed the crazy relationship dynamics especially between Ellen and Saskia. Even though Saskia was a bit nutty, the author portrayed her in a way that made it very easy for me to empathize with her situation and to see things from multiple perspectives. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Heather.
379 reviews16.8k followers
July 9, 2016
Overall liked this book. It didn't blow me away but if your looking for a quick summer read, this would be a good pick!
Mashup review coming soon!
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,127 reviews605 followers
November 9, 2016
This was an enjoyable read but I didn't love it as much as some of Liane Moriarty's other books (such as Big Little Lies). It's an interesting story based on a psychotherapist called Ellen who falls in love with Patrick, a widow with an adorable little boy called Jack. So far, so good, but Patrick has a stalker, an ex-stalker called Saskia who follows him around, popping up in all sorts of places. As always I really enjoyed Liane Moriarty's characters, including Ellen's patients and parent and was surprised that she was able to make me feel some sympathy for the stalker and understand her obsession with Patrick and Jack, who she had raised for several years after Patrick's wife died. The plot was somewhat slow but felt like it is building up to a major drama but this was avoided and the climax when it eventually came towards the end of the book was almost anticlimatic, with everything being neatly tied up afterwards.
Profile Image for Elaine.
356 reviews
June 21, 2014
I quite enjoyed this lighter read of Moriarty's. Although perhaps not as dramatic as The Husband's Secret or as emotional asWhat Alice Forgot, it was still an entertaining read that had me both laughing out loud and tearing up. It came as a pleasant change to what I had read just before it, so I was glad for the less intense contents of this book. Mind you as you were waiting for the story to escalate and it does, it was quite gripping as well. I have not read a Liane Moriarty book yet that I've not enjoyed. I have no qualms in recommending this author and her books.
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,286 reviews1,257 followers
May 28, 2019
Yay! Liane Moriarty has redeemed herself in my eyes with this book. I had loved The Husbands Secret but cringed reading What Alice Forgot, I couldn't even finish that one, so I was reluctant to try another. I am glad I gave it a go.

This book was funny, ridiculous in places and a very light hearted easy read. I needed this book after a wave of heavy graphic crime fiction that I had been reading. It's quirky, the storyline is a tad far-fetched but you kind of don't really care. A very enjoyable read. 3.5 stars from me.

For more of my book reviews, plenty of awesome books to win, and author Q&A events come to: https://www.facebook.com/BookloverCat...

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Profile Image for Britany.
951 reviews413 followers
September 21, 2015
For some reason, I had no idea what this book was going to be about, but it was a fast read. Ellen O'Farrell is a hypnotist who meets a man online and they start dating, only to find out that he has one serious problem... A stalker! The book alternates between Ellen and Saskia (The stalker), and so creates a dynamic story. The writing is average, and the story flows along, while at times unbelievable, but entertaining none the less.

not Moriarty's best book, but held my interest up til the very end, where the book ended so suddenly, it was as though I came to a screeching halt before hitting a brick wall.
Profile Image for Iryna *Book and Sword*.
431 reviews633 followers
February 2, 2018
I picked this book up at a thrift store (in mint condition might I add) and I didn't expect to like it nearly as much as I did. I literally had no expectations for this book at all as I knew nothing about it. The Hypnotist's Love Story is my third book by Moriarty, as I've already read What Alice Forgot and The Husband's Secret, and I do enjoy Moriarty's writing style a whole lot.

But this novel was more than just great writing - it was very entertaining, it was relatable and it was impossible to put down (but then again, previous 2 book of Moriarty I've read were as well).

“He was a selfish, pompous, egocentric, nasty man. She did not want to be married to him, but she did not want him to marry someone else. She did not want him, but she wanted him to want her.”

Moriarty knows and writes women like nobody else. I think that is the biggest reason why I am so drawn to her books - I am able to identify with her characters (some more some less, but still each and every one of them). Her characters think exact thoughts that fly through my head, they do things that I've done or at least thought of doing - sometimes I have to stop and think " hey, is this character - me?".
Maybe it's the age thing, maybe since I'm getting older I like to read about women who are older and to see how they navigate their life.

“Breathe in. She didn’t give a fig what other people thought! Breathe out. Rubbish. She gave a whole fig tree.”

I was able to identify with Ellen on a whole other level, as she seems to have many traits that I have as well. And when Patrick drove her crazy with his boxes of rubbish and stuff just laying around in her clean hallway - I honestly felt twitchy as if I had boxes in my hallway. Ohhh, to be OCD and have a book understand you - there's no better feeling.

The plot itself was very bizarre and "out-of-the-movie-screen" at times, but I just couldn't stop reading. I needed to know what will happen next. I just needed to be in the lives of those women. Man, now I sound like another character from this book - see, relatable!

I know this book is not nearly as popular as Moriarty's other books, but I really enjoyed it and I would really recommend it to fans of women fiction such as What Alice Forgot by Moriarty or Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,014 reviews1,051 followers
March 18, 2022
There is just something about Ms. Liane Moriarty's writing that puts a spell on me. I don't know how else to put it. It's a lot like hypnotism. Pun intended. This is my third book by the author and though it did not blow me away like her two other books, I still enjoyed it lot because of the humor and the detailed descriptions that are very relatable.

The author knows how to write the most unique stories in a very gripping and intriguing manner. Her psycho-analyses are on point too. It's probably why I enjoy her books a lot, mostly because of the psychology in it.

Perhaps my complaint about the book is its length. A hundred pages less would have made it more compelling to read. But as it is, it's still very much a recommendable read if you're looking for something out of the ordinary.
Profile Image for Lisa.
290 reviews
May 30, 2016
I decided to read this book as I loved the author's other novel, What Alice Forgot. I preferred the other book, but this one was OK.

What surprised me was how the author explored the life of the stalker, rather than just the people being stalked. I thought it would be creepy, but I ended up rooting for the stalker to be healed.

I liked how the author explored the reasons someone has a hard time letting go of a past relationship, and how that could drive them to hang on through stalking. I actually ended up resenting how her ex-boyfriend Patrick ended the relationship so cold heartedly. His girlfriend had been like a mom to his son for years, yet he suddenly broke off all contact. He didn't seem to care about the impact on his son. I think if he had handled the break up better, his ex-girlfriend may not have been so hurt she turned to stalking.

I was surprised that I liked the story about the stalker better than the other two characters.

I'm still not convinced that hypnotherapy is real. I also was concerned that the main character, Ellen, was excited to have a boyfriend with a stalker. That's not something you should be excited about.

It was an entertaining book, but probably not one I'll long remember.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,886 reviews488 followers
August 19, 2017
"A sharp and funny romantic tale."- O, The Oprah Magazine

Either I have lost my sense of humor or I read a different book. This book leaves me wirh a teeter-totter of emotions about where I stand. Although not my favorite book by the author, I was completely hooked by page 58. "The Hypnotist's Love Story" was most compelling for the way it tackles relationships - both parent-child and couples. I felt myself feeling sympathetic towards particular characters while wanting to shake others for their silly actions(Gah! Ellen and Patrick). Not completely convinced that I liked that ending This book is bobbing up and down in the seas of 3-3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Crystal Craig.
250 reviews571 followers
November 7, 2015
To quote Ace Ventura, "I just can't do it, Captain. I don't have the power". My time with this novel was short, so I'll keep my review short.

Last year, I read The Husband's Secret for book club and enjoyed it - gave it four stars, but I don't know what happened with The Hypnotist's Love Story. I was starting to get distracted and a few times I actually dozed off, so, at the 20% mark, I'm done with it.

Plot wise there wasn't enough going on. I can't tell you too much about it because like I said, I was in la-la land. The characters; they just weren't interesting enough. Chick Lit often is just not my genre.

Sorry, folks; I'm not a quitter but at the same time I have too many other books to read to warrant suffering through something I'm not enjoying.

On a positive note, I haven't given up on the author. I plan on reading Big Little Lies in the near future.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,694 reviews14.1k followers
May 29, 2012
Moriarty manages to come up with the most intriguing and original plots. This novel about the baggage we carry from one relationship to another was alternately witty and serious. Ellen, the main character is a hypnotherapist, and I found this both intriguing and interesting. Didn't know much about this vocation. Also I really liked and felt sorry for the stalker although I hate the idea of stalking. Yet this author makes the most unlikable characters likable somehow. Anyway I always look forward to her novel as I know they will be different, somewhat deep in a witty matter and just fun to read. ARC from publisher.
Profile Image for Kaora.
559 reviews280 followers
March 10, 2015
I am addicted to Liane Moriarty's books.

They take their time, drawing you in, with great characters, then things start taking a turn for the worst, and things keep getting worse and worse and then suddenly, someone comes through and things are all neatly tied up at the end with a neat little ribbon.

Ellen O’Farrell is a hypnotherapist, helping clients with things such as mysterious aches, weight loss, smoking and relationships. When she meets Patrick, he seems like her perfect person. The one that she has been helping her clients find for years. But there is a catch. Patrick has a stalker, an ex-lover who follows them everywhere.

Every time she was with Patrick, part of her was imagining how Saskia would react if she was there, watching.

Ellen wonders what this woman is like, but unbeknownst to her she has already met Saskia.

The book alternates between Ellen and Saskia's point of views. My biggest problem with this book is that I can't say that I liked either of these women, as Ellen was preoccupied with Patrick's dead ex-wife.

Dying was final and mysterious and gave you the last word forever.

The damned girl had to go and die before she had time to get boring or annoying.

And Saskia is obsessed with... well... Patrick.

The only way for me not to be crazy is to disappear from his life. Like a proper ex-girlfriend is expected to do. To discreetly vanish into the past.
And that's what drives me... crazy.

The irritating characters made this a more difficult read for me, and so Moriarty's slow setting of the scene was aggravating instead of endearing like it was with her other books. But like with her other books, she explores the struggles people go through and then the events that shape their lives and make them grow, and she does it in a way that you can't help but appreciate.

If Patrick had been killed in a car accident, I would have been allowed to grieve for him for years. But because he dumped me, because he was still alive, my sadness was considered undignified and pathetic. He stopped loving me, so therefore I had to stop loving him. Immediately.

Moriarty does a great job of creating believable characters, struggling with things that we have all experienced. Insecurities. Loss. Heartbreak.

All these things combine to bring the characters to the bottom. Rock bottom. Where you think how can this possibly turn out okay? But it does.

Then in the end when you turn that last page, and close the book, you look back on what you read and realize that despite all the horrible things that happened it all turned out okay.

And it makes me happy.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,564 reviews263 followers
March 5, 2020
“The suffragettes didn't starve themselves for the vote, so that you girls could starve yourselves for a man.”
― Liane Moriarty, The Hypnotist's Love Story

This book is different I must say. I have never read anything about a Hypnotist before.

This is the story of Ellen, a mischievous and free spirited hypnotist. This is the tale of her relationship with her boyfriend Patrick and the book is also about the field of hypnotherapy itself. There are several stories going on here. People who do not believe in this concept are trying to put Ellen out of business and simultaneously Ellen's kind and ordinary new boyfriend Patrick is being stalked by his all adoring ex.

I wish I could have loved this book. Although it was fun and I did enjoy some aspects of it, the book moved at an extremely slow pace and there were times I was a little bored. I did like the Hypnotist and she was much fun to read about. This is a case where I liked the leading character but the book itself did not grab me. The Hypnotist herself is gutsy and a heck of alot of fun but I did think it was overly long and there were one to many sub plots for me.

I think it is perfect summer beach reading. In spite of the fact that I personally did not love it, if one is in the mood for a light and beachy type of read, this would be perfect.
Profile Image for Laura.
696 reviews100 followers
July 29, 2016
I really enjoyed this book; I thought it was well written and the characters were developed thoroughly, which is a mean feat for fiction writers in my opinion. There was also a 'food for thought' aspect to this book, it got me thinking about the human psyche and the art of hypnotherapy and how we as a species are so open to suggestion.

Hypnotherapist Ellen is a happy soul; she has her practice, her clients and her beautiful seaside home on the Australian coast. Sweet but ever so naive, Ellen is caught off guard when she falls for widower Patrick and suddenly she is catapulted into his complicated life. If I'm making it sound like a rom-com book, it really isn't..!

I liked Ellen, was a little apprehensive about Patrick and both disturbed and intrigued by Saskia. The ending I felt was a little anti climatic, but I was satisfied all the same.

Having been suitably impressed by this authors debut, I was impressed to find this book matched the standard of her first. A gifted writer, I will most definitely be working my way through this authors collection.
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