Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

Ellen O'Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist in her mid-thirties. Her office is located in her beachfront home which she inherited from her grandparents. Ellen has a relatively zen personality, except for when it comes to relationships. She has had a few difficult breakups in the past decade and is ready to finally find someone to build a life with. Using an internet dating site, Ellen manages to meet Patrick.  Patrick is an extremely handsome man in his late thirties. He is a widower with an eight year old son he absolutely adores.  Just as Ellen is deciding that Patrick might be "the one," he announces that he has something important that he must share with her before they continue the relationship.  Terrified as to what he might say, Ellen is actually a little relieved when he announces that he has a stalker.  

My Thoughts:  
I think I may have fallen a little in love with Liane Moriarty (well at least with her writing).  I started off reading Big Little Lies after Sarah posted her review of the book. I then went on to read The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot.  I pretty much plowed through all of them.  The Hypnotist's Love Story is one of her earlier novels, but is just as great as her others.  One common theme you will find in Moriarty's writing is a multiple person narrative.  This writing style is especially interesting in The Hypnotist's Love Story as the two narrators in the story are Ellen and Patrick's ex-girlfriend now stalker, Sasika.  If you love a little romance with a twist, this is definitely the book for you.  After you read this one, go ahead and read all of her others as well.  I don't think you will be disappointed.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

At the opening of this debut novel, readers are introduced to Simon Watson, a young librarian living in his family home on the Long Island sound.   Simon's mother drowned when he and his sister, Enola, were young and his father died shortly after.  The house sits on the edge of a cliff and is slowly falling apart due to Simon's lack of care and money to protect it from the impending water. One day Simon receives a mysterious book from a collector who found his grandmother's name written in it's front.   The book appears to be a circus log documenting stops, performers, acts, etc. As Simon begins to research, he comes to find that his family is connected to this circus in ways that he could have never imagined.  

My Thoughts: 
Over the past few years, I have become of fan of books about circuses.  I loved The Night Circus and Water for Elephants.  I picked up this book hoping that it, too, would be a great circus novel. I was not disappointed.  The chapters in the novel alternate between present day with Simon and the time period when the circus log was actually being created. Swyler intricately weaves the two time periods together as the novel progresses and gives us a story about books, family, and curses. After the first chapter or so, I was hooked and had to force myself to put it down to do other necessary tasks.