In this moving story about losing and finding love again, a woman sets out to find the perfect matches for those closest to her.
48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others, her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech, and her daughter, Agnes, who is clearly engaged to the wrong man, call it meddlesome. But there's no arguing with her results: With 42 happy couples to her credit and all of them still together, Dabney has never been wrong about romance.
Never, that is, except in the case of herself and Clendenin Hughes, the green-eyed boy who took her heart with him long ago when he left the island to pursue his dream of becoming a journalist. Now, after spending 27 years on the other side of the world, Clen is back on Nantucket, and Dabney has never felt so confused, or so alive.
But when tragedy threatens her own second chance, Dabney must face the choices she's made and share painful secrets with her family. Determined to make use of her gift before it's too late, she sets out to find perfect matches for those she loves most.
Hilderbrand's (Barefoot) charming, poignant 13th novel chronicles what happens after a woman's true love returns to her 27 years after they've agreed to no longer be in touch. Born with the ability to discern whether a couple is a perfect match or doomed to fail, Nantucket girl Dabney Kimball Beech knew from the moment she met high-school sweetheart Clendenin Hughes that they were meant for each other. Sadly, ambitious Clen was also destined to have a case of wanderlust that would lead him to a reporter job on the other side of the world. Pregnant with his child but terrified of leaving the island after a childhood trauma involving her resentful mother, Dabney tells a reluctant Clen that she needs a clean break. When Clen shows up in Nantucket, Dabney is plagued by ominous spells of pain and weakness that she attributes to being lovesick. Now the mother to a grown woman named Agnes, Dabney can see that her daughter's fianc , C.J., despite being generous and charming, is also a controlling and ill-tempered poisonous match. Dabney's sweet husband, Box, seems to like him, but Box, a famous economist, is generally oblivious. Often away in Cambridge tending to teaching duties at Harvard, he hasn't had a physical relationship with Dabney in a while. Dabney begins a bittersweet affair with Clen while trying to urge her daughter away from C.J. Agnes, home for the summer, teams up with pal (and potential match) Riley Alsopp to get to the bottom of things after noticing her mother's suspicious absences. Hilderbrand's narrative is thoroughly readable, with likable heroes and believably despicable antagonists. One misstep is the downer ending; though you see it coming, it still feels like it belongs in another book. Despite this, Hilderbrand's story is an engaging read.
Customer ReviewsSee All
SO SAD but so good
I was 100% unprepared for how sad this book was, having not read any of the reviews before purchasing and being familiar only with other books by Elin that feature happy endings. So while I wouldn't characterize this as her standard beach read, unless you want to be crying behind your sunnies and into your margarita, I do think it's a good book that features characters I felt for and enjoyed getting to know.
Couldn’t wait to finish it!
I had just read The Blue Bistro and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was hoping for the same with The Matchmaker. I was so disappointed. The book is slow and much too wordy. I have been to Nantucket and appreciate the descriptions of the island and the lifestyle, but the actual story is just dull. I’ll attempt another of Ms Hilenbrand’s books and hope it holds my interest as much as the Bistro.
Was this a Danielle Steele Book?
UGH - boring. The dialog, the repetition. The best thing about this whole story was having what’s-her-name (I forgot already, main character) die of cancer. How sad is that?! This is the third Elin Hilderbrand book I picked up thinking there must be something I am missing ... but nope, I’m done!