Ellen O’Farrell is an expert when it comes to human frailties. She’s a hypnotherapist who helps her clients deal with everything from addictions to life-long phobias. So when she falls in love with a man who is being stalked by his ex-girlfriend she’s more intrigued than frightened. What makes a supposedly smart, professional woman behave this way? She’d love to meet her!
What she doesn’t know is that she already has. Saskia has been masquerading as a client, and their lives are set to collide in ways Ellen could never have predicted.
This wonderfully perceptive new novel from Liane Moriarty is about the lines we’ll cross for love. It’s about the murky areas between right and wrong, and the complexities of modern relationships.
Recently, I’ve been looking in to hypnosis and how it works. I find it a great subject, and was curious to read about a fictitious aspect of it. Especially if it was written by Liane Moriarty, who has a knack for capturing the heart of the matter. I’m sure we all had one boyfriend that we cyber stalked in some way when we were teens. What happens when you bring that sort of behavior in to adulthood? This was such a complex plot. I can’t imagine what I’d do if my current boyfriend was a widower, and on top of that had a stalker x girlfriend? Sounds like way too much for anyone to handle. However, this book wasn’t that black and white.
Liane Moriarty has a way of making us see in to the deepest part of each and every character, and relating to all of them in some way. Even when they are doing things you’ve never dreamed of.
I really liked the characters in this book. I liked how smart and patient Ellen was. I loved her open mind, and willingness to learn about anything to do with people. I enjoyed seeing her grow as a character throughout the book. I commend the author for her research on the hypnosis process. There are many myths about hypnotherapy. It was nice to see that even though I was reading fiction, the aspects were realistic. It definitely made me understand Ellen better as a person. For me, her story capitalized on how important the balance between our intellect and our emotions is.
Believe it or not, I loved Saskia. In spite of the crazy things she was doing, it was so easy to empathize with her situation and feelings. I believe if they didn’t have Patrick in common, she and Ellen could’ve been great friends.
I’m not sure how I feel about Patrick overall. I’m thinking he’s nice enough, but I didn’t like him very much at first. I felt that he was still grieving for his wife, and never actually allowed himself to grieve over her properly. I also hated his constant mood swings. Most importantly though, I didn’t see the chemistry between Patrick and Ellen. I could see why he loved her but not why she loved him. Maybe it’s just me though. In the end, he did redeem himself a bit in my eyes and I started to like him more.
I’m always happy to pick up a book by this author. I know that I will find witty relateable characters, a good story to get lost in, and some important lessons about life. I’m happy to note that there are still a few books by her I haven’t read. Looking forward to them
Grade: 4.5 stars