Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: The Matchmaker   
Author: Elin Hilderbrand        
Published: June 2014, Little, Brown & Company   
Format: ARC Paperback, 368 pages   
Source: Publisher  

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.

My thoughts: Reading a new Elin Hilderbrand book each summer is like returning to a favorite summer spot...I have yet to visit Nantucket, but through her books, I feel as if I am returning home. Each book brings more of the island to life for me and this book is certainly no exception.

This latest release is a poignant and heartbreaking tale of first love. I first met Dabney and Clen when I read the short story prequel, The Tailgate, that Elin released last month. (See review here.) That little story had my quite anxious to find out what would happen with these two young lovebirds and boy oh boy what a story it is. I will say this - this book is filled with emotion - happiness, sadness, love, heartbreak, and many heartwarming moments as well.

I loved the character of Dabney. She has this gift for matching couples and I loved how interspersed throughout the book were little blurbs about some of the couples. At the end of the book you find out why these were put together in the first place and it's so touching - I will say I read the last third of the book with a tissue in hand. I also loved that Dabney is a flawed character - she's definitely not perfect, and sometimes her decisions were not morally sound. But she was an amazing friend to all she knew and cared deeply about her loved ones.

This book is the type that grabs you from the first page. What would you do if your first love returned home after all this time has passed? You have your life set up - you're married, your daughter (who's father is your ex's) is grown, and you are content with the life you chose. Or are you?

Elin Hilderbrand has such a way with words - her descriptions allow you to feel as if you are sitting right there on Nantucket with the characters, that the salt air is blowing across your face and you can feel the sand between your toes. I've read every book she's written and loved them all. I cannot wait for her first holiday novel, due out in October.

11 comments:

  1. I`ve been seeing books by Elin all over and keep meaning to pick one up.... which one is your favourite? This review makes me think that any book by this author would be wonderful.

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    1. My favorite...that's hard as I've really enjoyed them all!

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  2. Oh don't you love when you can kick in a new season by reading something that can put you in the mood? :) I read more contemporary romance during the summer (and some WF) because it just seems the perfect time for it!

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    1. Yes, I look forward to a new EH book - it's like my official summer has begun book!

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  3. This sounds really good. I've enjoyed all of the books I've read by EH so I know I'll want to read it.

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    1. Same here, Mary. I've read them all and have enjoyed each and every one.

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  4. I have read just one book by this author. This is a new one for me.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to try some other books by her - they are great reads!

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  5. Kristin, I have not read anything by this author yet! Dabney sounds like a compelling character and you've whetted my interest in this author's work.

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    1. Suko - I hope you try out her books. They are really good and perfect for summer reading!

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  6. I always enjoy revisiting Nantucket with authors I love, like Elin Hilderbrand. Thanks for sharing...can't wait to read this one.

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