This book is the story of Ellen, a hypnotist living in Sydney. She meets a man named Patrick and starts dating him. But Patrick has a past! On their fourth date, Patrick tells Ellen that he has a stalker from a past relationship. We are introduced slowly to Saskia, the stalker, and there are chapters from her point of view, as well as the point of view from Ellen.
As Ellen and Patrick grow closer, Saskia seems to grow more desperate and does more crazy things, like following Ellen and Patrick when they go on vacation and entering their house when they are away. Ellen seems to find the whole interaction with Saskia more interesting than anything else, not realizing that the toll that it takes on Patrick. When Saskia breaks into Ellen’s house and makes biscuits, Ellen eats them without really thinking that maybe Saskia could be poisoning her. Ellen is more concerned about Colleen, Patrick’s first wife who died soon after giving birth to his son, and worries that Patrick will never love her the way he loved Colleen.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is that kind of “women’s fiction” mostly about relationships and romance, but it also had a lot of insight and wisdom about interpersonal relationships. I think this is where Liane Moriarty really excels, at building characters who are different and diverse, but also very human and insightful. Much of what this book is about is past-relationships and how various people move on from them (or sometimes, like Saskia, fail to move on). I do think that if one had some prior trauma with a stalker, this wouldn’t be a good book to read, might be too traumatic. But otherwise, I found it a really good read and very engaging.