Dabney Kimball Beech lives and breathes Nantucket. No, she is Nantucket. Born on the island, she lived there her entire childhood, raised her daughter Agnes there, and plans to die there.
Dabney is a matchmaker. Not by trade, but by and because of love. She sees auras: rosy pink for “meant to be” and olive green for “utter failure, DO NOT GET MARRIED.” To her dismay, Agnes and her fiancé CJ fall into the latter category. Agnes doesn’t want to hear this, even though Dabney has never been wrong when it comes to matchmaking. Forty-two successful couples have made for a pristine record.
Then there is Clendenin, Dabney’s “meant to be.” Or so she thought. They were a couple from the time he moved to the island when they were teenagers until he took a job in Asia twenty-seven years ago and left Dabney devastated but enough resigned to their impossible situation that she decided to raise her daughter – their daughter – alone. Now he is back on the island after losing his left arm in pursuit of a hot story. He’s back for Dabney. But Dabney has been married to a renowned economist for over twenty years, leaving her to wonder if she can possibly take Clen back.
But when an unexpected health problem blindsides Dabney, she sets about matchmaking her final couples, the people closest to her and whose happiness she is determined to ensure, and along with them, she must come to peace with her own.
The Matchmaker is one of Elin Hilderbrand’s best novels, adroitly incorporating the dynamics of many types of relationships: mother-daughter, husband-wife, best friends, long-lost loves. While ultimately telling a heartbreaking story, the book shares an uplifting message of cherishing the ones you love and realizing that it’s never too late to find your happily-ever-after. This book is much more than a mere beach read. It’s a must-read – for any day of the week, any time of the year. I am eagerly awaiting the next one from Elin Hilderbrand.
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Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.
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