Stephanie's Reviews > The Hypnotist's Love Story

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
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's review
Apr 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: funny
Read from April 18 to 22, 2012

I was lucky to receive this book in advance from Goodreads' First Reads program. It was my second Liane Moriarty novel, and I am very solidly hooked on her work now. I was completely engrossed in this story almost immediately, and all of the plot's little twists and turns felt natural and realistic--they all fit together, but without ever feeling too neat.

In fact, I had the same feeling about this book as I had about the other Moriarty novel I read, Three Wishes: that these people actually exist somewhere and she had just observed them and written down their lives and thoughts. I think that's the best way I can describe it. The depth of the characters, the nuances of the relationships, and the plot entanglements just seemed so lifelike. And at the same time, the characters were so thoroughly engrossing that I hoped they were real people because I want to know more about them. I want to keep reading about them forever.

Moriarty's writing was absolutely delightful; the skillful descriptions and perfectly natural dialogue had me laughing or empathizing (or both) the whole way through. It's fascinating to me now to realize how many characters this book had (including several who had died before the novel's beginning), and yet, not only was it easy to keep track of them all, but I honestly feel I know them all intimately. Even the stalker's next-door neighbor who had a grand total of one very short scene. I don't know how she did this while maintaining the narrative's quick and steady pace. Liane Moriarty must have some very impressive magic (or, possibly, a huge amount of skill).

Perhaps the only minor criticism I would have of this story is the way the viewpoints alternated--the story went from first-person for the stalker to third-person for the hypnotist. That did make it easy to discern whose viewpoint we were in each time it switched, but it also confused my mind a little bit, and a few times I forgot we'd switched and got disoriented by the viewpoint change. That could be just me, but I really thought the story would have been slightly easier to read in 3rd person all the way through. Although, of course, I see the point of first-person for the stalker; it was very satisfying to read exactly what was going on in her mind at each point. It wasn't bothersome enough for me to lower my rating an entire star, but the change to first- or third-person did pull me out of the story a few times.

Lucky for me, there's still two other Liane Moriarty books to read. Lucky for you, most likely, you can still read this book for the first time when it's released in June.

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