Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Hypnotist’s Love Story – Liane Moriarty

Contemporary Fiction 4*s
Contemporary Fiction
4*s

I was in need of a light read to cheer me up and fortunately I had just the right type of book sat waiting for me on my bookshelf. I love Liane Moriarty’s writing style, plenty of wry observational humour to give an edge to what essential is a romantic tale, albeit one with a dark underbelly.

We stood together, the hypnotist and me, our faces close to the windows. When you stood that close, you couldn’t see the sand below, just the sea, a sheet of flattened, shiny tin that stretched out to the pale blue line of the horizon. ‘I feel like I’m at the helm of a boat,’ I said to the hypnotist, who seemed excessively delighted by that comment and said that was exactly how she felt, her eyes round and shiny like a children’s entertainer.

Our hypnotist, or rather hypnotherapist, is Ellen a woman who has been fortunate enough to be left a beautiful house on the beach by her grandparents. She is in her thirties, a woman in charge of her own destiny, a woman who has decided to see whether internet dating can find ‘the one’ after a few failed relationships. She meets Patrick, widower and father to eight year old Jack and a man who is being stalked by an ex-girlfriend Saskia. Ellen is one of life’s good people, she believes in her job but is she really ready for this relationships, one with enough baggage to sink a battleship?

I think this book would have quickly become quite boring had it not been for the fact that we hear from Saskia herself, a character I actually had a certain amount of sympathy for especially as Ellen was just a little bit too good to be true, certainly at the beginning of the book. Saskia does realise that what she is doing is a little on the odd side, she just isn’t quite sure how to give up following Patrick in her spare time… but what will she do when she realises the relationship with Ellen is getting serious?

So it’s serious. The hypnotist has met Jack. As far as I know that’s the first woman he’s introduced Jack to since me.
I wonder what he thought of her.
She doesn’t really seem like a kid person. Too spiritual and floaty. Children like earthy, real people who get down on the floor and play with them. I can’t imagine someone who talks about ‘light filling your body’ sitting in a sandbox.

Well, I’m afraid if you want to know how this all pans out, you’ll just have to read the book.

Although not my favourite of Liane Moriarty’s books, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, with a good range of characters, including her speciality, the odd-balls that actually resemble people I’ve met in my life, the one that exists outside books. With a few sub-plots principally around Ellen’s clients, oh and not forgetting her caustic mother and her two kindly god-mothers there is far more meat to this romance, than well, just romance! Although this book is fairly long at getting on for 500 pages but the tale moves at quite a pace especially as the multiple strands keep the story lively and moving forward. I’d say this is perfect beach reading but it worked well for me on a cold and windy day wrapped up in a blanket while my mind was transported to a much warmer and sunnier Australia.

Other books by Liane Moriarty

Little Lies (2014)
The Husband’s Secret (2013)
What Alice Forgot (2010)
The Last Anniversary (2006)
Three Wishes (2004)

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (December 2)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I have finally started All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a book that has been on my TBR for way too long.

All The Light We Cannot See

Blurb

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work. NetGalley

I have just finished the absolutely fascinating This House of Grief by Helen Garner where I got way too involved in the details of this Australian murder trial.

This House of Grief

Blurb

On the evening of September 4th 2005, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, all drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? In a tale reminiscent of In Cold Blood (1966), Helen Garner decided to reveal every aspect of this complicated and highly emotional case.In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man with a broken life and bears witness to an often uncomfortable truth. Amazon

My review will follow shortly

In the new spirit of choosing more books from my TBR I have decided to read something a little lighter next so I have chosen The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love Story

Blurb

Hypnotherapist Ellen is fascinated by what makes people tick. So when she falls in love with Patrick, the fact that he has a stalker doesn’t faze her in the slightest. If anything it intrigues her, and the more she hears about Saskia, the more she wants to meet this woman. But what Ellen doesn’t know is that they’ve already met . . .
Saskia has been posing as one of Ellen’s clients. Unable to let go of the life she so abruptly lost, she wants to know everything about the woman who took her place. And the further she inches her way into Ellen’s world, the more trouble she stirs up.
Ellen’s love story is about to take an unexpected turn. But it’s not only Saskia who doesn’t know where to stop: Ellen also has to ask herself what lines she’s prepared to cross to get the happy ending she’s always wanted.
Thought-provoking, sympathetic and smart, Liane Moriarty’s The Hypnotist’s Love Story is a novel for anyone who’s ever loved, lost or found it hard to let go. Amazon

What are you reading this week? Do share!

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (September 19)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

This week I have a few additions to the good old TBR starting with by The Widow by Fiona Barton which is due to be published on 14 January 2016. My copy was sent to me by the lovely Ben Willis of Transworld. I received the first chapter of this psychological thriller at Crime in the Courts back in June and was delighted to receive a proof copy as I desperately wanted to read the rest of the story!

The Widow
Blurb

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.
But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?
Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.
Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.
But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.
Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows. Goodreads

From NetGalley I am thrilled to have a copy of Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths which is the second outing for DI Edgar Stephens and Max Mephisto after their strong debut in The Zig Zag Girl

Smoke and Mirrors

Blurb

Brighton, winter 1951.
Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?
Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But is this all just classic misdirection? NetGalley

Lastly is a purchase of The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty, an author who hasn’t let me down yet.

The Hypnotist's Love Story

Blurb

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.
Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.
Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has. Goodreads

So there are my finds – What have you found to read this week?