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The Matchmaker: A Novel Hardcover – June 10, 2014


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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: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Review

"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 antagonists...an engaging read."— Publishers Weekly

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

Praise for BEAUTIFUL DAY:

"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

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

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

Although a sad story, it was a good end for them all.
Marisa Talbot
I felt that this was just cranked out, not as much character development as her other books.
Lyndam
Her characters are always well developed as are her story lines.
Cynthia Long

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By CGU 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Online Book Reviews TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand is a poignant and heartbreaking story of a forty-eight year old Dabney Kimball Beech who seems to have it all. She grew up, works and lives on the island of Nantucket with her family. Her husband is a famous economics professor at Harvard, John Boxmiller Beech. They have a wonderful daughter in Agnes. What is truly remarkable about Dabney is her matchmaking skills which resulted in several dozens of couples leading blissful marital life.

But Dabney’s carefully constructed world crumbled around her when she is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The return of her high school sweetheart and love of her life, journalist Clendenin Hughes, to the island generated tension and her daughter Agnes’ engagement created a great deal of anxiety.

For Dabney, Clen is no ordinary teenage infatuation. They lived and loved totally but as fate would have it, Clen was offered a job which he can’t refuse. But Dabney refused to accompany him, and remained on Nantucket. She was undeterred with her pregnancy and raised Agnes alone. When she married the much older professor, he adopted her. And now, twenty years later, things are beginning unravel all around her.

Delightfully told as she only can, author Elin Hilderbrand crafted a story that makes for a wonderful summer read which will allow readers to reminisce about their own lives. Some love never end, and it has the power the tug at the strings of your heart, however long a time may have passed.
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9 of 9 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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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By ib on June 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The only reason I'm giving this one two stars is that it takes place on Nantucket. I've read all of Hilderbrand's novels and enjoyed most of them. This one is just depressing. Didn't really like the characters or the plot. I skimmed through the last part - I just didn't want to read about a painful tragic death. Yes, I realize that it is part of life, but I like my beach novels a bit more light hearted.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Candy9585 on June 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every year I wait for Elin's new summer read. Was going to wait till vacation to read but couldn't wait. Should have waited. Slow read, characters I just could not get into. Just disappointed altogether.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kjs on July 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Elin Hildebrand is one of my favorite authors and i look forward to her new books each year. This one was a disappointment. The main character, Dabney, was not sympathetic and i could not identify with her. She came across as highly annoying--not to mention the names of every single character in this story were ridiculous. Dabney, Clendenen, Box, Agnes...come on. I could not sympathize with these characters and I was glad when it ended.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Judith D. Collins on June 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Elin’s Hilderbrand’s latest novel, The Matchmaker is a story of a forty-eight year old Dabney who grew up on the island of Nantucket with her family. Married to John, a famous professor at Harvard with a daughter, Agnes. Dabney possess match making skills and has a pretty high success rate.

When Dabney finds out she has pancreatic cancer, and her high school sweetheart, Clendenin, a journalist returns to the island (learned about this relationship from her novella –The Tailgate) which was not a bad read. However, I am finding Elin’s novellas are better than the actual novel).

In The Tailgate, we learn Dabney was seeing a therapist every week to discuss her issue of agoraphobia. After eight years of therapy, she found she could not be fixed; however her therapist helped her manage it. Nantucket was her oxygen. It was the only place she felt safe, healthy, whole.

Dabney and Clen fell in love years ago; however, he was offered a job he could not refuse and Dabney chose not to go with him, remaining on her beloved Nantucket because of fear. She was raising Agnes as a single parent until the older professor and he adopted her. Now twenty years later, and her current illness causes her to second guess her life.

Unfortunately, cannot recommend this book as could not wait for it to be over (listened to the audiobook), as most of the book involved the main character, complaining about things which were of no importance. I have read all Hilderbrand’s books and enjoyed her earlier ones in years past; however, the last few have been lacking substance.
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