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