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The Matchmaker: A Novel Hardcover – June 10, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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. --Joanne Wilkinson


"A loving portrait of an island....It's like renting a cottage on Nantucket for the weekend - breezy and sad when you come to the end."―The Boston Globe

"A new Elin Hilderbrand novel has come to signify the start of summer to readers. 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

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

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

This is my favorite read of the summer so far."― Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press


"A perfect summer read."―Ladies Home Journal

"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


"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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316099759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316099752
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (835 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Cubby on June 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
my "summer reading season" has started with an elin hinderbrand book for the past several years. it is the book i look forward to the most each year. i was SO disappointed by this book. it was just too much. everyone loves dabney, she is just the center of EVERYONE'S universe -- really? i rolled my eyes and audibly groaned throughout the book. agnes ate oysters the way other children ate pepperidge farm goldfish? darling this, darling that. and the names!!! clenendine? box? dabney? ugh, it was all just groan-inducingly bad. i am sure i am nitpicking but I am usually a huge fan and now i am worried e.h. has lost her touch. i feel like reading blue bistro or summerland just to cleanse my palate. i read that she is coming out with a book at Christmastime, so i will just wait and hope. maybe lianne moriarty and jojo moyes won't let me down this summer.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kelly M. on September 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I rarely write reviews, but thought this might be helpful for someone who would want to pass over a book that glosses over the full impact adultery has on people's lives. I was really bothered by the message in this book that true love exists and is special and is allowed to break moral guidelines. Ex: main's ok for me to have an affair because the guy I'm having an affair with is the only guy I ever gave my heart too.

Like many people I found the main character annoying, but more for her ignorance and moral ambiguities. I also was bothered by the ending which I felt tried to put a positive spin on adultery. Overall I thought it was an extremely warped book on love and commitment.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Halcyon Fair on August 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This was a nice (not always the most positive adjective one can assign) little summer story that had numerous characters, few of whom seemed real. I would have to agree with the other reviewers who found the book somewhat disappointing. Neither Dabney or Clenendin demonstrated any really admirable qualities, they were mired in self-interest. Clenendin and Dabney's "love affair" wasn't the stuff of Dr. Zhivago, it was more extreme stupidity that lacked credibility. Not to mention selfishness. Dabney suffers from a disorder that won't allow her to leave the island (other than to receive a degree from Harvard, really? That seems like a smear against the University's mind-broadening capabilities!) She then lets her "soul mate" leave the island to pursue a career (why else would you get a degree from Yale?) refusing to go with him, even though she's pregnant. She ultimately marries a decent man whose tragic flaw is that he's committed to his work, at which he's brilliant, she still refusing to leave the island even though he tries to open the world to her. He's sentenced to a life of constant commuting, living life as a bachelor (and faithful, to boot) at Harvard, where he teaches. Ultimately he feels guilt because he wasn't "attentive enough." Please. Almost three decades later the love of Dabney's teenaged life returns and destroys her marriage, even though he's been absent for almost 30 years and has had no part in raising his daughter, Dabney's husband took on that task, even adopting her. Hard to feel sympathy for the woman....yes, she did a great job for the chamber of commerce, but did she ever really sacrifice her wants for either her "great love" or her more than decent husband? Hardly.Read more ›
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Gup on June 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have three favorite authors--EH, Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner. Every summer, I look forward to their latest releases. Well sad to say, I am 0 for 2 and only have Jennifer Weiner to look forward to.....

This book was decently written--EH knows how to keep a reader engaged but I found the heroine and her plight to be depressing. I did not like the convenient discarding of key characters and had to put the book down half way through--sorry to say.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By MHNYC on July 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I usually love Elin Hilderbrand books but I dont know who actually wrote this one.
The story itself is mildly interesting and not really the problem. There at just so many annoying things. Phrases like "she was too sick to rise from bed" (who says that?) and "She gazed up at him through her cinnamon bangs, a siren's look" (seriously? What are 'cinnamon bangs', are they something sirens have? So stupid).
Also the main character's matchmaking includes seeing a red or green fog, to indicate if a couple is a match or not. Totally ridiculous, is this chick lit or sci-fi. She also for some reaaon wears a grosgrain headband and pearls everywhere she goes, on Nantucket, in 2014, even to exercise. She's afraid to leave Nantucket and seems especially afraid of NYC specifically Morningside Heights which, again, in modern day times makes me think the author has never actually been to NYC.
Overall, a big miss as far as an Elin Hilderbrand book. I made it to page 211 and rarely quit on a book but I can't stand any more of this one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sinthia on July 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Not my idea of an enjoyable read. I found the characters to be mostly annoying, especially the main character Dabney. Wears pearls even when jogging? Really? And with the first mention of her not feeling well, it was all too predictable from there.

And now I am wondering when the Lifetime movie is coming out for this book, because it seems like it was written for Lifetime!
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