Moving means that I am currently too far from my (beloved) former local library branch to borrow books and still too disorganized to have been to my new library to check out books there. As a result, my reading options are limited to a stack of dusty paperbacks I found in last year’s beach bag, thus The Matchmaker!
Dabney Kimball Beech is beloved on her island home, Nantucket, not simply because she is a fourth-generation local, nor due exclusively to her encyclopedic knowledge of every inch of the island, but also for her renown as a matchmaker. More than forty couples have been matched by Dabney: all are soulmates, all are still together.
Dabney herself, however, is not living in bliss with her soulmate, Clendenin Hughes. Dabney met Clen at age fourteen and has never once (in thrity-four years) wavered in her belief that he was her soulmate. Despite a deep, desperate love for one another, the two split: Clen to travel the world as a journalist and Dabney to remain on her beloved Nantucket. Clen left Dabney with one parting gift: their daughter Agnes.
Fast forward almost twenty-five years to present day Nantucket: Dabney is known and loved by all Nantucket — residents and tourists alike. She is married to a renown economist to whom she has a pleasant but rather loveless marriage. She is the mother to twenty-four year-old Agnes, who Dabney loves with all her heart, despite Agnes’ engagement to a man Dabney knows is not Agnes’ soulmate.
After almost three decades, having recovered from the tumultuous time after Clen left the island and her years as a single mother, Dabney is living a good, content life. Until she receives an email from Clen, alerting her to the fact that he is returning to Nantucket.
Suddenly, Dabney’s ordered, calm, predictable world in thrown into chaos. She no longer knows who she is; Clen’s return has ignited a flame inside her. She is consumed with a renewed passion for — while still processing her heartbreak by — a man who she has loved for most of her life. She finds herself risking her job, her marriage, her standing in the community, all for chance to be with her true love.
Life, however, will not be put on hold. Dabney cannot act without consequences. By discarding her perfect, predictable life; she must face hard choices about who she will be going forward. A wonderful beach read by one of my favorites, Elin Hilderbrand! Anything by the author is great for summer reading, whose books are all set on the island of Nantucket and never fail to deliver a great story with wonderfully written characters, a dash of drama, and lush descriptions of Nantucket and its residents. Three other of my favorites are: Barefoot, The Island, and Beautiful Day.