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The Matchmaker
Cover of The Matchmaker
The Matchmaker
A Novel
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.
 

Awards-

About 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.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 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.

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2014
    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.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2014
    Dabney Kimball Beech is Nantucket's biggest booster. As director of the island's chamber of commerce, she is a constant presence at, and an enthusiastic booster of, the island's many celebrations, whether it's Daffodil Weekend or the Cranberry Festival. But this year, things are different. She's just learned that her high-school boyfriend, Clendenin Hughes, the love of her life and the father of her child, is set to return home after a decades-long stint as a foreign correspondent. Despite the fact that she has been married for many years to a Harvard economist and is well known as a matchmaker, with 43 happy couples to her credit, her own love life has proved problematic. She's afraid to see Clen again, and with good reason; almost as soon as they meet up, their love affair reignites. Hilderbrand has crafted another of her delectable beach reads, complete with a fairy-tale romance. And her depiction of a perfect Nantucket summer day will have readers inhaling a plate of Kumomoto oysters and downing a cold glass of good white Bordeaux right along with Dabney. Delicious.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews Hilderbrand's surprisingly original take on the wedding disaster novel...A wedding readers won't be able to resist crashing.
  • Publishers Weekly 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.
  • Boston Globe Summerland is as readable as any beach book, but with a much bigger heart.
  • Joanna Powell, People The Queen of the Summer Novel...Hilderbrand blends real-life issues - depression, teen alcoholism, bullying - with her signature soapy twists and illicit romances.
  • Kirkus Reviews A sensitive glimpse into the lives of damaged people groping their way toward healing.

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    Little, Brown and Company
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