Well I’ve read several of Elin Hilderbrand’s books and a few have brought tears to my eyes and the The Matchmaker is one to be added to that list. I really enjoy her books for the deep connection I feel to her characters, the homey and comfortable feel to her stories, and of course the setting of Nantucket. I listened to this one on audio which is narrated by Erin Bennett and she does a wonderful job of portraying life in Nantucket and even more the emotional side to this story. I really enjoyed listening to her narration and would love listening to her again in the future.
Dabney is what I would call the social butterfly of Nantucket. She is the center of all that goes on and not only that she is also the town matchmaker and she is good at it. Dabney sees a rosy glow if people belong together and that is exactly why she is so troubled with her daughter Agnes and her fiancé C.J. and the green cloud that hangs over them. While she is married now to Box, her one true love Clendenin who she dated in high school and is the father of Agnes is what she considers her one failure. They deeply loved each other but Clendenin had career opportunities in far away places and Dabney refused to travel. While Dabney moved on her heart forever belonged with Clendenin.
When, after 27 years, Clendenin arrives back in Nantucket Dabney is both confused and exhilarated. While she loves Box he has never made her feel as alive as she does when she is with Clendenin. He is her match, her destiny, and one true love and he feels the same. He wants to be with Dabney and get to know Agnes but is Dabney ready for what all of that will mean to her family. She knows in her heart that it is Clendenin she wants and when tragedy strikes to close to home she realizes that she wants the rest of her life to include Clendenin and that is what she’s going to have. She’s also going to make sure that everyone else she loves, especially Agnes, is left with a man she truly belongs with.
I really enjoyed this book. While I didn’t always agree with the choices Dabney was making I still really loved her as a character. The Matchmaker is at times a very sad story but also a hopeful one – hope in love, that one true love that takes your breath away and makes you whole. Highly recommend for those who enjoy women’s fiction!