The Hypnotist’s Love Story – by Liane Moriarty

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Much like What Alice Forgot, this book introduces complex characters into a gripping plot — for 90% of the book. But, during the last 10%, a familiar and predictable story arc enters the scene, bringing us to a conclusion that feels contrived and not quite true to the characters.

In The Hypnotist’s Love Story, we meet Ellen, the protagonist and a hypnotist. She is 35, and in a career that her mother and friends don’t always take seriously. Regardless, she enjoys what she does, and at the beginning of the story, starts dating a middle aged widower named Patrick. One thing about Patrick — he is being stalked by his ex-girlfriend Saskia.

Saskia isn’t made out to be a complete villain though. We learn that Patrick dumped her a month after the death of her mother. We also learn that Saskia had stepped into the role of “Mom” for Patrick’s infant son, Jack — only to then be cut completely out of the picture.

Drama ensues. Saskia shows up when Patrick proposes to Ellen. Ellen becomes pregnant. A newspaper threatens to write an expose-style story on the “quackery” of Ellen’s hypnotism practice.

But despite all the arising drama, it is quickly resolved in the last 10% of the book, tying up the ends with a neat, trim bow. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first 90%, the ending deflated my enthusiasm, truth be told.

While not Moriarty’s best, it’s still a fun beach read.



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