Ellen O’Farrell enjoyed her professional life as a hypnotherapist, and she loved her house which was left to her by her grandparents. Even its retro charm made her happy, and she didn’t want to update it because it reminded her of her grandparents. With the beach right outside her door, one could say she had it all.
She even had the perfect home office with great windows where she met with her clients.
But Ellen’s love life has left much to be desired. She thinks sadly of all the past relationships and what went wrong. So when she meets Patrick Scott, a handsome man with an eight-year-old son named Jack, she is sure that it will just be a matter of time before everything goes wrong.
So when Patrick says “I have to tell you something,” and then disappears from their table for what seems like forever, she knows that it’s all over.
What she learns, however, is that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend Saskia has been stalking him for the past three years.
From this point, The Hypnotist’s Love Story: A Novel becomes a fascinating journey, in which we alternately see the perspectives of Ellen and Saskia, and watch their lives descend into a train wreck of madness. But at the end of the journey, will there be an epiphany for Ellen? For Patrick? And what will Saskia take away from these events? Set in Sydney, Australia, the story brought a great sense of place with it, making me feel as if I were there with them all.
I literally could not stop reading this story. I have loved everything I’ve read by this author, and to pick favorites seems unfair, but I felt so connected to the characters. I was frustrated by the actions of each character at one point or another. Patrick seemed clueless. Why had he allowed everything to go on so long? And he seemingly failed to see Ellen’s frustration at how he destroyed her orderly life when he moved in with her and left packing boxes in her hallway for weeks and seemed to ignore her feelings. I wanted to yell at him.
Saskia was the least likeable of the characters, and while there seemed to be no redemption for her, the drastic events of that one night made change possible. I liked seeing how that could happen, but I mostly enjoyed the thought of Ellen and Patrick being free of her. I will think of these events and these characters for a long time. 5 stars.