The Matchmaker

The Matchmaker

4.2 85
by Elin Hilderbrand, Erin Bennett
     
 

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A touching new novel from bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand in which a woman sets out to find love for those closest to her - before it's too late.

48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others - like her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech, and her

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Overview

A touching new novel from bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand in which a woman sets out to find love for those closest to her - before it's too late.

48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others - like 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. The Matchmaker is a heartbreaking new novel from Elin Hilderbrand about losing and finding love, even as you're running out of time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/19/2014
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 fiancé, 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. (June)
Booklist
"Hilderbrand has once again written an engaging story wonderfully illustrating the often complex lives of young people struggling toward adulthood."
Boston Globe
PRAISE FOR SUMMERLAND:

"Summerland is as readable as any beach book, but with a much bigger heart."

Joanna Powell
"The Queen of the Summer Novel...Hilderbrand blends real-life issues - depression, teen alcoholism, bullying - with her signature soapy twists and illicit romances."
From the Publisher
"Hilderbrand's surprisingly original take on the wedding disaster novel...A wedding readers won't be able to resist crashing."—Kirkus Reviews"

Hilderbrand's latest is the perfect beach read....[her] straightforward style pulls the reader into the minds of her characters, and all the secrets and sorrows that create the universal messiness of major family events."—Publishers Weekly

PRAISE FOR SUMMERLAND:"

Summerland is as readable as any beach book, but with a much bigger heart."—Boston Globe"

The Queen of the Summer Novel...Hilderbrand blends real-life issues - depression, teen alcoholism, bullying - with her signature soapy twists and illicit romances."—Joanna Powell, People"

Hilderbrand has once again written an engaging story wonderfully illustrating the often complex lives of young people struggling toward adulthood."—Booklist"

A sensitive glimpse into the lives of damaged people groping their way toward healing."—Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal - Audio
05/01/2015
Dabney Kimball Beech has lived on Nantucket all her life. Aside from attending college nearby, she's never left the island, owing to her trauma-induced agoraphobia. Dabney's successful matchmaking and career at the chamber of commerce made her the island's most popular resident, but she never recovered from losing her first love, Clendenin, who moved overseas 27 years earlier. Dabney's phobias prevented her from following him, and her heart still longs for her "perfect match," despite a pleasant marriage to another man. It's no wonder that Dabney cannot resist rekindling her relationship with Clendenin when he suddenly resurfaces on the island. But just as Dabney is happiest, she receives news that threatens the future in which she's just starting to believe. Narrative perspectives rotate between Dabney and the other major characters. Stories about happy couples Dabney matched are interspersed throughout the main story, amping up the romantic atmosphere. Erin Bennett provides excellent, well-acted narration and switches among accents and perspectives with ease. This meandering, light story is perfect for summer listening, but be aware that it's a tearjerker. VERDICT Recommended for hopeless romantics with a love of tragedy. ["Here's a must read to reignite the beauty and gift of life, love, and family": LJ Xpress Reviews 6/6/14 review of the Little, Brown hc.]—Julie Judkins, Univ. of North Texas, Denton
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-07
Hilderbrand's latest Nantucket heroine has a very particular kind of clairvoyance: She can always tell whether a couple is compatible or not.Dabney Kimball Beech, 49, who heads up Nantucket's Chamber of Commerce, is known for her headband, pearls, penny loafers and other preppy accoutrements, as well as her fabulous menus for tailgates and picnics. Then there's her track record of spotting perfect matches: If a couple is suited, she sees pink around them; if not, green. So far, her unerring intuition, augmented by artful introductions, has resulted in more than 40 long-term Nantucket marriages. As the wife of John Boxmiller Beech, aka Box, a Harvard economics professor who's frequently summoned to the Oval Office and whose benchmark textbook nets about $3 million a year, Dabney's domestic life is serene—except that she's never gotten over her high school sweetheart, Clendenin "Clen" Hughes, a Pulitzer-winning journalist whose beat has been, until recently, Southeast Asia. Due to a childhood trauma involving a runaway mother, Dabney has been too phobic to leave Nantucket (except for four years at Harvard). Nearly three decades before, unable to follow in Clen's globe-trotting footsteps, Dabney banished him from her life and from the life of their daughter, Agnes, who's never met her father, though she knows who he is. Now Clen is back on Nantucket—minus an arm. Agnes is engaged to the uber-rich, controlling and decidedly unclassy sports agent CJ. (This couple is definitely swathed in a green cloud.) Since Box is teaching in Cambridge during the week, the opportunity to resume an affair with Clen proves irresistible to Dabney. The complications mount until, suddenly, Hilderbrand's essentially sunny setup, bolstered by many summer parties and picnics (and lavishly described meals, particularly seafood), takes a sudden, somber turn. Hilderbrand has a way of transcending the formulaic and tapping directly into the emotional jugular. Class is often an undercurrent in her work, but in this comedy of manners-turned-cautionary tale, luck establishes its own dubious meritocracy.Beach reading with an unsettling edge.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781478984221
Publisher:
Hachette Audio
Publication date:
02/10/2015
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
11
Sales rank:
739,175
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 5.75(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Elin Hilderbrand has lived on Nantucket for twenty years. She runs every morning, delivers her children to their sporting events, and frequents the front row at the Chicken Box. The Matchmaker is her thirteenth novel.

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The Matchmaker: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 85 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another winner read it in two days .When I first started this book I said wow I don't know if I am going to like it ... Well I was wrong. After the wonderful in depth character development it became a page turner. Dabney was OCD in so many ways, but she loved her daughter, Box in her way, but she was in love with Clen and Nantucket. A book about life's choices and how in one moment a choice can set the course of your life. I know many wouldn't change anything, I know I wouldn't . But how many would? Thank you Elin, already waiting for your next one. I highly recommend this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited to get this on the first day available and the characters did not let me go! I have read most of this author's novels during my summer reading breaks from school. Dabney, Agnes, Box, Clen, and each person you meet will grab your heart and carry you along. Dabney has the ability to "see colors" of love around two people and you soon learn, she's always right!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Evrry time I read Elin Hilderbrand I feel like I am in Nantucket! I practically have my vacation planned!! As always, emotions run the gamut from happy, hopeful, surpirsed, sad, and heartbroken and back again. I feel like I know these characters personally! Whew...now I have to wait another year...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for this book to come out for awhile. I have read all of Elin's books and this one was not a disappointment? I didnt want this book to end. Maybe she will write a follow up book about the characters. I would love to see what happens to them. Wonderful read!!
jpcoggins More than 1 year ago
I think this is her BEST book by far, and I have read most of hers!  This is not your average "beach read," but so much more.  The characters are great people you wish were your neighbors or friends.  I feel as if I just finished watching a great movie that held me spell-bound.  I think Elin Hilderbrand s writing has reached her potential.  In fact, this is a book that can be enjoyed anywhere (not just at the beach) during any time of the year, not just summer.  Yes it was a face-paced read, but only because I wanted to stay up reading at night to find out what happened to each and every quirky wonderful character.  I have been to hear Ms. Hilderbrand talk about her writing in person.  But I might just have to get my hands on an autographed copy of this book.  Simply great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is below Hilderbrand's usual standard. I wonder if this is an earlier work that was published to cash in on her current fame. The story is simple and predictable. It shows how facile Hilderbrand is. She writes so easily that she doesn't challenge herself or the reader with this story. It's very predictable. I found the cute and quirky heroine more annoying than sympathetic. This is be a perfect "beach book"; take it with you on vacation and you won't have to use your brain for any serious thought while reading it. Disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm reading The Matchmaker on my Nook. It is very annoying because I am finding so many errors. Whoever did the proofreading did a very poor job. This is one story that is really dragging and hard to get into. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great summer read!  I always enjoy reading a Hilderbrand book.  Her characters are always well written, and one feels like they really know them
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ANother great book from Elin Hilderbrand I read her new books as soon as they come out never a disappointment MUST READ
Maybee More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved!!! Finished it in just over a day. After barefoot, this is my favorite. The characters are in true hilderbrand fashion flawed but beloved. I'm so excited about this book. I was disappointed with her last book, beautiful day, that I was admittedly a bit nervous. However, she rallied back to her normal style that I truly treasure. Thank you, thank you, thank you Elin for such a wonderful novel. I know she's known for summer reads but this is the best novel I've read in quite awhile.  Her normal heir of mystery is evident but not distracting. Characters are interesting and wonderfully intertwined. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this phenomenal, very real novel that pulls at your heart from start to finish. If you loved this book, and Elins writings, please share any and all recommendations me. I tried Jane green, not for me. Thanks;)
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4
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story and the characters taken by surprise by the authors afterward and hope and pray for her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is a reason you can always count on a good read from this author, Great character development and heartfelt story line
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. It was just what I needed - a good story with love, compromise, forgiveness and trust.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another grear read from Elin Hilderbrand. Her books always make you feel as if you were right there on the island & a part of all the characters in the novel. I know this book will stay with me for a very long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could hardly wait to have time to read each day, i loved everything about this book. However, the Nook edition had several missing pages& i am disappointed I missed those. I am still wondering what Clen was fingering in his pocket on the last page??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another heartwarming story with characters that seem like you have known them before