I don’t want to tell you everything about The Hypnotist’s Love Story because I hope you’ll read it, and I don’t want to be a spoiler.
Once you have read it, if you do not think it is BRILLIANT and a masterpiece of comic timing and harsh truths, then you are humourless, heartless and un-Australian, and you and I would probably never be friends (nothing professional, you understand, purely personal).
Briefly, The Hypnotist’s Love Story is about mid-thirties Ellen who goes on a date with a nice bloke she met on an internet dating site who has some surprising baggage in the form of a stalking ex-girlfriend. That’s enough background. I stayed up until 2am to finish it.
Liane writes effortlessly and engagingly about contemporary Australia – people grow up in Tassie, live in Sydney and holiday in Noosa. They have nicknames like Stinky and Scottie. They are surveyors, town planners, hairdressers, retirees, GPs, … oh, and there’s a hypnotist. Liane writes about all of us, and it is painful and funny and embarrassing and lovely. You often have tears in your eyes, either from laughter or sorrow.
I am strangely pleased that Liane chooses to write without offering explanations of the Australian dialogue, place names and Golden Syrup. There’s no candy in this story, but there are Anzac Biscuits. There’re vegemite sandwiches in the kid’s lunch box, but no cultural-cringe-worthiness.
Liane’s previous novel What Alice Forgot is one of my favourite books, and I am not at all surprised that it has sold so well in the U.K. and USA. Did I hear the film rights had been sold? I know many book clubs are choosing What Alice Forgot, as word-of-mouth continues to build, and these readers will be extremely receptive to The Hypnotist’s Love Story.
I hope booksellers will be ready with The Hypnotist’s Love Story because all Liane’s readers will be craving this next book! Readers relate so keenly to Liane’s writing, that I think Liane will be attracting J.D. Salinger-style fans who want to be her best friend, if not be Liane herself. I do hope there aren’t any stalkers about…
By Jenny Mann