The Matchmaker: A Novel - book cover
  • Publisher : Back Bay Books
  • Published : 23 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 416
  • ISBN-10 : 0316316512
  • ISBN-13 : 9780316316514
  • Language : English

The Matchmaker: A Novel

In this moving story about losing and finding love again, a woman sets out to find the perfect matches for those closest to her.

Forty-eight-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 twenty-seven 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.

Editorial Reviews

"Hilderbrand has crafted another of her delectable beach reads, complete with a fairy-tale romance. . . . Delicious."―Booklist

"Charming, poignant…Hilderbrand's narrative is thoroughly readable, with likable heroes and believably despicable antagonists…Hilderbrand's story is an engaging read."―Publishers Weekly

"The odd thing about The Matchmaker is that I fell for it, not because of the love triangle or Dabney's matchmaking skills, but because it's a loving portrait of an island. Hilderbrand has an ear and an eye for the people of Surfside and Siasconset . . . It's like renting a cottage on Nantucket for the weekend - breezy and sad when you come to the end. The Matchmaker gives you a taste of island life without having to invest in oceanfront property."―Boston Globe

"My favorite read of the summer so far."―Detroit Free Press

 "With the idyllic island setting and her eye for details, her books make you want to plan a trip to Nantucket even before you've turned the last page. Her stories are always chockfull of relatable characters and situations, sprinkled with a little bit of escapist fantasy for good measure. Like a good summer barbeque, there's something for everyone here….So get a nice comfy chair in a shady place and dive in!"―The Book Reporter

"If the beach isn't on your agenda this summer, the novel will transport you to Nantucket's picturesque seaside in no time. Elin, who lives on the island, delivers an emotional story about a married woman with a knack for matchmaking."―Hello! Magazine

"The queen regent of the easy-breezy summer read."―New York Post

Readers Top Reviews

HelenLNancy Chambers
I am a big fan of Elin Hilderbrand and have read all of her books... but I was a little disappointed with this one. The initial descriptions of how flustered Dabney is when she reads the email from Clen felt 'overdone' to me and I wanted to get the the real story, instead of the build up. I did get swept along by the story and it was enjoyable... but predictable. Overall it reads like it may have been rushed, the characters could have been better developed and the ending (no plot spoilers!) felt very abrupt and 'neat'. A good easy summer read but far from Hilderbrand's best.
Michael Wildpatricia
I didn't find this romantic, it is a sad story of neurosis and how a lack of therapeutic help may spoil more than one life. However, it is a very good weepy if you are into that. Like many neurotics, the cost borne by those closest to them is evidenced here.
I loved this book although I have loved all of Elin's books. The story is full of love and hope and there is sadness as well. Characters are well written. A great read and one you can really get involved in.
This is the second Elin Hildebrand I have read and I was very disappointed. The prose was flat and unimaginative and it seemed to be written on a 5th or 6th grade reading level. The characters were hardly developed beyond annoying names ("Clendenin", "Dabney", " Box", "Celerie"... really???) and unnecessarily reinforced personal habits (no one wears a pearl necklace all day every day) and repeated mentions of car models (I never say " let's take my Accord"). The main character, "Dabney" was supposed to be someone everyone loved and admired but I never saw those traits because she was never fleshed-out beyond "pearls, Impala, pearls, Imapala, headband, pearls, Impala". I am hoping that this was perhaps E.H's first novel and she got better along the way because I did enjoy the other novel of hers I read.
BridgettC WillyKindl
I cannot write a review of this book without first commenting on the characters' monikers. There was Dabney (also known as Cupe), Clendenin (a.k.a Beast and Clen), Box, and Celerie (why yes, this book does have a vegetarian character named after a vegetable). What planet is this version of Nantucket on? I'm all for originality, but these names are just flat-out tacky. I'm pretty sure a Mary or a Fred could live on Nantucket too, Ms. Hilderbrand. Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, let's talk about the actual story. Dabney, the protagonist, is an idiot. Without giving any plot points away, let's just say she was having obvious medical issues, which she chose to ignore...and for the dumbest reason. This book has several narrators, and includes little asides, much like the film, When Harry Met Sally, where the couples Dabney worked her matchmaking skills on told their love stories. These asides are cute, and they give a great deal of background about Dabney in high school, in college, while pregnant, and every stage of her life in between. It's clear, from the beginning of the book, where the plot is heading. There were zero surprises. Elin Hilderbrand books are so hit or miss with me. I either really enjoy them, or I don't. This one, unfortunately, was a stinker. I'd take a hard pass on The Matchmaker.

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