The Hypnotist's Love Story Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Hypnotist's Love Story

Hypnotherapist Ellen is trying to make her relationship with Patrick work in spite of the difficulties of him being widowed, possibly still loving his deceased wife, and having a stalker who books an appointment with Ellen under a fake identity so she can get closer to them. Ellen is a hypnotherapist who thinks her boyfriend, Patrick, is about to break up with her when he tells her that he needs to speak to her about something. However, the news is that he has a stalker.
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An ex-girlfriend called Saskia regularly follows him around and can become a bit abusive. The reason why he told Ellen this news during dinner out is that he saw her in the restaurant and she had the nerve to text him a few times, commenting on how he looks and what he's ordering to eat. Ellen tells him that she is not freaked out by this and will be able to handle the situation.

The next day, Ellen goes for a walk on the beach and thinks about how much she wants her relationship with Patrick to work. She is thirty-five years old and has gone through many failed relationships.

Saskia follows Ellen and Patrick, learns that Ellen is a hypnotherapist, and makes an appointment to see her.

Although Ellen is passionate about the subconscious and its power, Patrick doesn't share her enthusiasm because he lost his ex-wife, Colleen, to cancer. Ellen tells her friend Julia that she doesn't mind Patrick being a widow. He also has a son who Ellen is set to meet soon.

A woman comes to Ellen for hypnotherapy. Her name is Rosie and she wants to quit smoking before her marriage to a high-profile media personality. However, during the session, Rosie confesses that she doesn't want to marry him.

Meeting Jack seems to go well and Ellen discovers he was merely a toddler when Saskia was in Patrick's life. She tells Patrick about Rosie's situation and they clash a bit regarding hypnotherapy. Patrick says he likes to be in control and that is why he dislikes the situation with Saskia because he can't control what happens.

Saskia discovers that Jack met Ellen and recalls memories of being in Jack's life. Meanwhile, Patrick tells Ellen he loves her.

Saskia makes an appointment with Ellen then cancels due to traveling.

Patrick and Ellen set out to meet each other's families. She is excited but nervous.

Saskia thinks Ellen isn't a fake person and she can see why Patrick likes her. She realizes that she is starting to like her, too.

On their way to meet Ellen's mom and godmothers, Patrick notices that Saskia is following them on the way. He races to get away from her.

Saskia loses them and wonders how Patrick would describe her to Ellen. She is sure that he is painting her as a psycho, which is what he has called her a few times. She doesn't want to disappear into his past; this is the thought that drives her crazy.

Ellen wonders how her mom will react to the news that Patrick has a stalker. Her mother advises her to be careful because she always sees the good in people.

Saskia wishes she could babysit Jack when Ellen and Patrick go out together. She feels like she was Jack's mother for some time and regrets not having adopted him when she had the chance.

Ellen can't help thinking about Saskia and Patrick gets upset when she tells him that she is on her mind.

Meanwhile, Saskia gets the idea that she will go over to Patrick's mom to say hello and show her that she has moved on.

Patrick's mother and family meet and like Ellen. During their dinner, Saskia arrives! Patrick goes to the door and Ellen can hear him speaking to Saskia in a very unpleasant and rough voice. Jack tells Ellen he remembers Saskia because she used to fetch him from school.

Saskia feels stupid about going to visit Patrick's family home and recalls how his poor mother had looked horrified upon seeing her.

Patrick's mom is very open with Ellen about Saskia, telling her how much the family loved her and how she had been like a mother to Jack. She also tells Ellen that after Colleen died, Patrick threw himself into his work to provide for Jack.

Talking about Saskia annoys Patrick and he tells Ellen that he wishes he could kill her.

It is when an acquaintance tells Ellen that her ex-boyfriend is getting married and Ellen finds herself crying over it even though she didn't want to marry him that she realizes she can understand what Saskia feels.

Ellen discovers she is pregnant and wonders if Patrick would even want another child!

She doesn't know that the client who comes for her session is actually Saskia using a fake identity. Saskia sees the pregnancy test in the room and is furious. She goes to Patrick and cries incoherently.

Ellen is horrified when Patrick calls to tell her Saskia came to him and was crying about babies. But luckily, he doesn't know that she is pregnant.

Saskia feels horrible and wishes she could turn to Ellen for help. She recalls the horror when Patrick had broken up with her and how she had no one to turn to because her mother had passed away.

Patrick and Ellen decide to go on a short holiday to Noosa. During the flight, Patrick talks about Saskia and how she used to have a horrible pain in her leg that doctors couldn't seem to heal. As Ellen listens, she realizes it is oddly similar to a situation she is treating one of her clients for - a woman by the name of Deborah.

She realizes that Deborah is really Saskia! And, to make matters worse, she told 'Deborah' that she and Patrick were going to Noosa. She now is sure Saskia will be following them.

Saskia is certainly on the same plane as them and decides to wait for the perfect moment to reveal her presence.

Ellen doesn't tell Patrick that Saskia is Deborah, but instead tries to hypnotize him so that if anything happens to upset him a mere touch of her hand will relax him. She feels guilty for doing this.

Saskia recalls how her leg started hurting when her mother was sick.

Patrick surprises Ellen with a marriage proposal during the holiday. Before he can do it properly, she tells him that she has to tell him two things: one, that she is pregnant; and two, that Saskia is headed towards them.

Saskia comes to them and is very friendly. She tells Ellen she will see her soon for their appointment and Patrick is shocked by this. He fears that this is all a setup! Ellen tells him about Deborah being Saskia and how she discovered this on the flight.

Later, Patrick tells Ellen he hopes their baby will be blonde just like her. She laughs and reminds him she's not blonde. He then amends the statement to mean that the child will look like Jack. Ellen recalls from pictures that Colleen was very blonde.

Saskia keeps her appointment with Ellen, but her car breaks down on the way there.

Rosie arrives to an appointment with Ellen and says she wants to be hypnotised into loving her fiancé.

Ellen discovers that her father whom she never knew growing up has reconnected with her mother and they are in love.

When she gets home, Ellen disturbingly finds a flower and book that have been placed on the table - the book is one Saskia borrowed from her.

Patrick and Jack move their belongings into Ellen's home but she starts getting annoyed with all the boxes in the hallway. Patrick then tells her he still goes to visit Colleen's parents once a month. She's angry that he never mentioned it before. He wants her to go with him but she says she has to meet her father that day.

Saskia is thinking about how everyone is moving on and she is standing still, when Patrick returns the book and flower that she had left in Ellen's home. He tells her it all has to stop and she agrees, adding that he has to go back to her.

Ellen can't believe that she is not feeling happy even though she has so many great things going for her: her mother and father are together, she has Patrick and they're having a baby… She is pondering this when she hears a crash in the hallway. One of Patrick's boxes has toppled over. It is labelled 'miscellaneous.' A photo album that falls out of it contains snaps of Patrick, Jack and Colleen. There are even naked photos of Colleen. Ellen wonders if Patrick is still in love with his ex-wife.

Ellen goes with Jack and Patrick to Colleen's grave. For the first time, she feels the injustice of the woman's death. Patrick introduces Ellen to Colleen, and squeezes Ellen's hand when he speaks to his deceased wife, saying that he knows she wants him to be with someone lovely.

Saskia stumbles upon Ellen and Patrick at the supermarket without having followed them, which she views as a delight. She notices how Ellen spots her then turns away. She realizes she is a stalker. She wishes Patrick had left her life slowly and acknowledged her feelings.

Ellen keeps wondering if and what Patrick is thinking about Colleen and she's tempted to put him in a deep trance to discover the truth.

Saskia gets invited to a party that's being held at her neighbors but declines. When she walks to her car, however, she feels the guest - the man who has invited her - looking at her. She feels happy. She drives to Ellen's house and leaves a plastic bag containing ingredients at the front door.

Ellen agrees to accompany Jack and Patrick to visit Colleen's parents, and while she's there Colleen's mother speaks of what her pregnancy with Colleen was like. This sets Ellen off, and she starts to cry. On the way back home she tells Patrick it must have been difficult for them to meet Ellen and know of her pregnancy. He tries to make light of it, which irks Ellen. They end up arguing.

Instead of just leaving the ingredients in Ellen's house, Saskia locates the spare key and enters it. She stats cooking in the kitchen!

When Ellen gets home, she discover a smell of cooking in the kitchen and find freshly baked biscuits. When she tells her friends, they are horrified. But Ellen claims she would want to speak to Saskia.

When Saskia was in Ellen's kitchen, she heard a knock on the door and went to see who it was. It was a man who wanted to speak to Ellen but didn't leave a message. He looked angry.
It is only later on that Saskia realizes who the man was, but she can't figure out why he would need to speak to Ellen.

Ellen meets her father and notices how he is open-minded on the topics of alternative therapies. He speaks of his two sons openly and then things become a bit awkward but she doesn't let it get to her because she feels great joy at having a baby with a man who adores her.

One of Ellen's clients, a woman by the name of Luisa, comes to see her. She is angry that she hasn't fallen pregnant and blames Ellen for saying she could help her become a mother. She tells Ellen she wants her money back because Ellen is a fraud. Ellen writes her a cheque and the woman leaves. But when she gets to the top of the path she speaks to a tall man. The man says he is here to see Ellen - it is Ian Roman, Rosie's husband.

He tells Ellen he knows that Rosie discovered under hypnosis that she doesn't really love him and is now being placed under hypnosis to love him. He threatens to put her out of business.

Saskia regrets baking in Ellen's home. She realizes she needs proper therapy. Then a short while later, she is driving back past Ellen's house. She sees Ellen and Patrick and discovers they are going for an ultrasound.

Ellen and Patrick take Jack to dinner after the ultrasound and they all look at the picture. Ellen feels pride and happiness. When they get home she has a message on her answering machine from someone called Lisa who works at a newspaper and wants to interview Ellen about the claims made against her. That is when Ellen realizes how Ian Roman is planning to put her out of business.

Patrick also hears some bad news: one of his clients is refusing to pay his bills and wants to take him to court. To relax him, Ellen puts him in a calming trance and is tempted to ask him about Colleen. Patrick starts talking about Colleen and her cancer, becoming filled with grief. Then he confesses that he will never love another woman like her; that he looks at Ellen and it's just not the same. Ellen is horrified.

Saskia recalls the grief that overwhelms her after she saw Patrick and Ellen going for the baby ultrasound. A kindly stranger sees her crying and comes over to offer some comforting words. She decides to toast the arrival of the baby with a bottle of red wine.

Ellen falls asleep and has nightmares about Patrick breaking up with her and Colleen being back in the picture. When she wakes up she smells smoke and feels something is not right. She sees a dark shape in the bedroom and it moves. It is Saskia!

Saskia is wearing pyjamas and holding the ultrasound pictures. Ellen shouts for the pictures to be returned and Patrick lifts Saskia off her feet and shoves her away from him as Jack comes down the hallway. Saskia falls down the stairs, but grabs Jack's top before she does so that they both go tumbling.

Jack breaks his arm but luckily is okay. Saskia wakes up in the hospital with extreme pain and opens her eyes to see Ellen there, looking at her as though she were normal. Ellen tries to speak to Saskia about how she's like an addict who has hit rock bottom, but it can be a turning point for her life. She reminds Saskia that with her injuries she won't be able to walk for up to two months, during which time she could get therapy. She tells Saskia she will need to leave Sydney. Saskia agrees.

Ellen tells Patrick about how she tried to speak to Saskia, and informs him of what he said when he was in his trance. He denies it but says they will discuss it later.

Mary-Kate, one of Ellen's clients, comes over and Ellen speaks to her about the article in the paper. Mary-Kate says that she's a barrister who specializes in defamation law, so she is able to help.

Some of Saskia's co-workers come to visit her in hospital. She reaches out to them, asking them to stay with her a bit longer. They oblige.

Jack defends Saskia when talking about the incident with Patrick and Ellen, claiming it had just been an accident. He confesses that Saskia goes to watch his soccer games. Patrick is angry and says he'll call the police if she's there again, to which Jack says that if his father does that he'll never speak to him again.

Mary-Kate manages to get the newspaper's journalist to hear Ellen's side of the story before publication.

Ellen's mother apologizes for having brought her father into her life when she had so many other things with which to occupy her life, such as having a baby and a new relationship. She says that she thinks she has been in love with the memory of Ellen's father, not so much who he was, so their relationship didn't work out.

Ellen speaks to Jack about how he felt about Saskia and he tells her that she had given him a lucky marble which he always carried with him. However, when he lost it he didn't tell her, only to discover that Saskia was suddenly out of their lives. So he thought it was his fault.

When Saskia leaves the hospital, she muses how the staff must think she's just an ordinary woman with friends who love her. And they do really seem to be a solid part of her life, helping her during the time when she won't be able to move much.

Luisa phones Ellen to tell her she's pregnant and that she was sorry about how she had seen Ian Roman outside Ellen's home. She confesses about how she got star-struck by the media personality and gave him her details which then found their way to the journalist.

Ellen and Patrick speak about what he said during his trance and he tells her that love isn't black and white. He recalls how Colleen would say that he'd meet someone else and he always argued that he wouldn't, but he did with Ellen. He says the opposite of what he said during his trance applies, too: that he never loved Colleen in the same way he loves Ellen.

Rosie informs Ellen that Ian Roman is having an affair with a supermodel and she apologizes for everything he put her through with his threats.

Saskia confides in her friends about her stalker tendencies and they encourage her to try therapy… and take up knitting!

Ellen and her father go to an olive festival together, during which he confides in her about how his previous wife left him. He admits he thought of her mother during his marriage to the other woman and that he had cheated with her more than once but is glad he did otherwise they wouldn't have had Ellen.

Saskia feels wonderful about being happy again in her new life. Then she receives a letter from Patrick's mother. She says she hopes Saskia will move on with her life and be happy and that she was sending a 'get well' card on behalf of Jack who wanted to do it. Jack also wrote a short note and enclosed a new lucky marble for her.

Ellen and Patrick have their baby - a girl named Grace Lily Scott. Although happy in their relationship with a new baby, Patrick still fears seeing Saskia again.

Saskia does commit to seeing a psychiatrist but she doesn't leave Sydney because she wants to be close to her friends. One night when she's out, she sees a smiling Ellen walking straight towards her with a baby stroller. She smiles back, thinking that they could've been friends in another life. But then she realizes that Ellen is smiling at someone else. Saskia doesn't look back to see if it is Jack or Patrick. Instead, she turns away and continues walking.
Best part of story, including ending: It is an intriguing story that has a few chilling elements relating to the stalker in the book.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was when Ellen puts her boyfriend, Patrick, into a hypnotic state and her biggest fear comes true: he says he will never love any other woman the way he loved his ex wife who passed away.

Opinion about the main character: Ellen is an intuitive and real woman, trying to keep her relationship going, but sometimes she lets her emotions get in the way.

The review of this Book prepared by Giulia Simolo a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Hypnotist's Love Story

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   stalked by someone with romantic feelings Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Australian (mate!) Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Australia

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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