The Hypnotist’s Love Story – Liane Moriarty

Have you ever loved someone intensely, passionately, crazily? Has it made you go manic when they broke up with you? Did you or attempt to or thought about stalking them? For some reason, i find this book hugely entertaining, maybe it brings out all the repressed feelings on the surface.

This story is about a Hypnotherapist Ellen, who is on her fifth date with a surveyor Patrick, when he tells her that he has a stalker – that is what piqued my interest, we have heard and read about male stalkers, but seems like women are not too far behind as well. Its funny to note that this Hypnotist for a while is more interested in the stalker and the stalker’s feelings and motives rather than the impact on her boyfriend. Ellen and Patrick fall in love and as Patrick said, the stalker – Saskia, comes as part of the package.

Saskia, the stalker, had a three year relationship with Patrick (while he was grieving over the untimely death of his wife due to cancer) and his baby boy, Jack. Saskia fell in love with Patrick and Jack to the extent of alienating herself from any other life or relationships or friends around her – this please note is quite common phenomenon. When Patrick bounced out of his grief cycle, he broke up with Saskia – which was a month after her only living relative, her mother, had passed away.

So in a span of a month, Saskia loses not only her mother but her family as well. The book is about the escalating craziness of the stalker and hypnotist’s angst to either understand the motive behind this stalking or attempt to live her life around this stalker. When Ellen actually realises the extent of impact on Patrick of this stalking – anxiety, panic, she feels guilty (as a reader, so did i) about not trying to look at things from the perspective of the person being stalked – endless messages, letter, emails, break in’s and tailing in the car, etc.

I enjoyed reading about the Hypnotherapy sessions as well – not sure if i want to try it yet, but it sounded interesting. The ultimate act of stalker is when the happy couple find her in their bedroom and in the whole commotion of shouting and pushing, both the stalker and Jack (8 years old) fall down the stairs. Stalker finally hits rock bottom and closes the door on this chapter of her life and the Hypnotist goes on to realise her love story.

Its a romantic (i would call it comedy) book, as the title suggests, interesting and engaging. It did make me think if internet stalking (as is more prevalent these days) is as harmful as the physical and mental and emotional stalking i came across in this book? The internet stalker though silent is still invading someone’s privacy – right?

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