Book Review – The Hypnotist by Laurence Anholt

hypnotistIn the dead of night, Pip is plucked from an orphanage and hired as a farm hand. But Pip is black. The farmer and his wife are white. And this is 1960’s America, where race defines you.

Jack Morrow has left his native Ireland dreaming of a new life in the American Deep South. He has certain skills that he mostly keeps hidden. Skills in hypnotism and mind control…

Pip and Jack’s lives become inextricably linked as the heat of racial tension builds to a terrifying storm.”


I’m going to be honest here and say that this book did nothing for me in it’s description and I have put off reading it. But in an effort to complete this set of blog posts, I have soldiered on with it! And I am so very glad I did 🙂

gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg  4/5 Stars.

I quite wrongly put this book off for ages, convinced it wasn’t really for me. And in parts, it isn’t – I struggled with the way it was written for example, especially translating the spoken bits. But the setting and the time were fine (and I typically don’t love more historical reads). And the story is lovely. I loved Pip and Hannah and Lilybelle. It’s a little short and in places simplistic (I think you can tell he came from writing for a younger audience), but I think that actually works for the subject matter – race relations in 1963 is not an easy subject to discuss!! It is delicately handled without dancing around the uncomfortableness. I can see why this book has been on so many lists this year!

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