Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Amy Einhorn Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.
It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since I featured What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Moriarty's newest novel, The Hypnotist's Love Story came out just this week, and it will not disappoint her fans. Take a look at the publisher's summary to get the basic premise:
Ellen O’Farrell is a bit unusual. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s never met her father. And she can’t seem to keep a relationship going (okay, that’s more normal that we want to admit). When Ellen meets Patrick, she’s hopeful nevertheless. But when he says he needs to tell her something, she fears the worst. However, when Patrick reveals that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen thinks, Is that all? Actually, that’s kind of neat. She’s more intrigued than frightened. What makes a supposedly smart, professional woman behave this way? She’d love to meet her. What she doesn’t know is that she already has.Liane Moriarty chose to tell the story from the points of view of the two women in Patrick's life. Ellen has a natural curiosity about people, and it stands her in good stead when she's helping her clients overcome their personal problems. It might not be the best approach, however, when she discovers Patrick is being stalked. Just how long will Ellen's intellectual and professional curiosity hold out before she finds the invasion of privacy intolerable?
The other narrator is Saskia, the stalker. Although we should all be fairly creeped out by her, Moriarty makes her a surprisingly sympathetic character. In some ways, Saskia just can't help herself, but in other ways, she's very clever and very deliberate in her behavior. As the publisher's summary implies and as the reader discovers from the beginning, Saskia has secretly become one of Ellen's patients and thus is entangling herself in Patrick's new relationship, with no one the wiser . . . at least for now.
One thing about Moriarty is her ability to create a story that works on several levels. In fact, she's a stealth-writer: Fooling you with lightness and a bit of humor on the surface, while tossing the heavy issues in under the radar. Take The Hypnotist's Love Story to the beach but get ready to discuss the deeper issues at your next book club meeting.
Instead of sharing clips from the book's many positive reviews, I decided to post the opening paragraphs:
I had never been hypnotized before. I didn't really believe in it, to be honest. My plan was to lie there and pretend it was working, and try not to laugh.For more on Liane Moriarty, visit her website, where you can learn about what inspired her to write The Hypnotist's Love Story. You can also like her Facebook page.
"Most people are surprised by how much they enjoy it," said the hypnotist. She was all softness and soap; no makeup or jewelry. Her skin had a polished, translucent look, as if she only ever bathed in mountain streams. She smelled like one of those overpriced crafty shops you find in country towns: sandalwood and lavender.
The room we were in was tiny, warm and strange. It was built on the side of the house like an enclosed balcony. The carpet was musty, with faded pink roses, but the windows were modern: floor-to-ceiling panels of glass like those in an atrium. The room was flooded with light. As I walked in, the light seemed to whoosh through my head, like a brisk breeze, and I could smell old books an the sea. (pp. 1-2; from uncorrected proof, finished copy may differ)
Amy Einhorn Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010, or click the Amy Einhorn tab below my banner photo. To join the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge, click the link.