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The Matchmaker of Kenmare (Ireland #2)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  774 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Frank Delaney's The Last Storyteller.

In the summer of 1943, as World War II rages on, Ben MacCarthy is haunted by the disappearance of his wife, the actress Venetia Kelly. Searching for purpose by collecting stories for the Irish Folklore Commission, he travels to a remote seaside cottage to profile the enigmatic Miss Kate Begle
ebook, 416 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Random House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Sandra Olshaski
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Matchmaker of Kenmare Frank Delaney (Rated:C)
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6784-8
Random House
Published 2011
Hardcover, 416 pages

Reviewed by Sandra

When I finished reading Delaney’s previous novel Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show I remember hoping for a sequel. Well, here it is in all its glory!

The novel takes place in Ireland and Europe during World War II. The story appears to be Ben Murphy’s relentless search for his wife and child (?) who disappeared under mysterious circumstances over a decade earlier. B
I'm sticking with a solid 3 1/2 stars on this one. I wanted to give it 4 stars, but the beginning drove me crazy with all of the foreshadowing and foretelling. I understand that the narrator was telling the story as a memoir, but it took a while to understand who he was telling his story to, and to weave together all of the fragments later on. I understood the reason behind it, but I felt it was a bit too much. Overall, the story was very engaging and interesting. I hadn't known that Ireland was ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through First Reads! I can' wait to get it and to read it. I will post my review as soon as I can!
Michaela Moye
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned some things about myself as I read this book.
I didn't fall in love with this as much as I did with the book Ireland by the same author but it was still a good read and I enjoyed it.

Delaney's main skill is that he is exceptional at crafting a genuine Irish environment that it is so easy to get sucked into. And to further attest to this skill, he can do it in seemingly any time period. This specific book takes place in the first half of the 20th century, mostly in the World War II era. Ben comes off as a reliable narrator so it is easy to t
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is another one of those books that I just could not refuse after reading that synopsis. I forgive the editors for creating such a long synopsis, because there is so much going on behind the scenes that calling this a World War II love story would be completely remiss. The book is a sort of anomaly for me: vague, opaque, labyrinthine.. yet still hypnotic, engrossing, suspenseful. There is love, romance, whimsy, tragedy, loss, and everything in between. Upon opening the book you are setting o ...more
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland
This is a book that touches me closely because of the kinship I feel with its hero and narrator, Ben McCarthy. In The Matchmaker of Kenmare, Ben falls under the sway of Kate Begley, a matchmaker and daughter of a matchmaker. She completely enchants him and takes over his life as easily as if he were a pair of gloves she puts on. Ben starts out with a deep vulnerability: His wife, the former Venetia Kelly, has disappeared; and there are no clues as to whether she is among the quick or the dead. T ...more
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a masterful story-teller Frank Delaney is. This novel, set mostly in "neutral" Ireland during WWII, unfolds slowly, making me feel as if I were opening doors in a large, unfamiliar home. I know there is more to this tale than just the basic story-line. So I read it slowly and carefully, attempting a "close reading," to explore hidden shadow stories. I lingered and could almost smell the summer sea at Kenmare and suffer the snow and cold of war-torn Western Europe.

The Matchmaker of Kenmare,
I'm a bit ambiguous on this book. I received it from a giveaway, and it was my first win, so I was rather excited. I found the book interesting enough to keep me picking it up and reading it, but not enough to stop me from putting it down and going to something else. It is a rather tragic story of two people, a man and a woman, whose lives intertwine during WWII. The historical aspect of it was very intriguing, and I liked hearing about those different aspects. That being said, I found the entir ...more
Ashley Martin
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love Frank Delaney's books. They are always perfectly written, the stories are so entertaining and gripping, and the characters so round. This book was no different. Kate and Ben's relationship is so confusing and complex, that you can't help but empathize with Ben's frustration. He has two loves in his life, one has been forcefully taken from him, and the other is in love with someone else, someone she barely knows. Ben is a good guy, but he has bad moments, and I really like that in a ...more
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It was very good 1 11 Apr 23, 2011 09:50PM  
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Frank Delaney was an author, a broadcaster on both television and radio, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, lecturer, and a judge of many literary prizes. Delaney interviewed more than 3,500 of the world's most important writers. NPR called him 'The Most Eloquent Man in the World'. Delaney was born and raised in County Tipperary, Ireland, spent more than twenty-five years in England before movi ...more
More about Frank Delaney...

Other Books in the Series

Ireland (3 books)
  • Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show (A Novel of Ireland, #1)
  • The Last Storyteller (A Novel of Ireland, #3)
“Every pain is a lesson.” 62 likes
“Do you know what the difference is between Friendship and Love? Friendship is the photograph, Love is the oil painting.” 43 likes
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