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The Matchmaker

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  28,783 ratings  ·  2,403 reviews
A touching new novel from bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand in which a woman sets out to find love for those closest to her - before it's too late.

48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others - like her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech, and her daughter, Agnes, who is cl
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company
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3.84  · 
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 ·  28,783 ratings  ·  2,403 reviews

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Gerard J.  Medvec
Apr 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
On page 90 of THE MATCHMAKER by Elin Hilderbrand, she writes about her two main characters; "The two of them with their Ivy League degrees had spent the past year on Nantucket working jobs that were beneath them." It was at this sentence that the rest of the standard story became unimportant.

"Beneath them."

That bothers me.

Hilderbrand takes the omniscient point of view in the book, so that differentiating between the character's beliefs, the narrator's and her own are skewed. Yet every writer
Kristen Pooler
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't love this the way I've loved so many of Elin's books. The characters names drove me nuts - Dabney and Clendenin?!
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Elin is probably my favorite author of all time. While I didn't love Beautiful Day as much as some of her others, I read it on Nantucket last year which heightened the experience. But! The Matchmaker has been one of my favorite reads of hers in a long time. For not being a crier, I basically bawled my eyes out for the last 20 pages. I'm a huge sucker for long lost love and this story spoke to my heart. I loved ALL the characters (okay, minus that Elizabeth woman), couldn't get enough and of cour ...more
Jun 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Library Request, so happy I was able to sign this out from the library and not have spent money. I think I will stay away from any more novels from Elin Hilderbrand in the future. I can't tell you how I do not abide adultery for any reason, and yet this book I felt was rubbing it in my face and condoning it all because they claimed they loved the person, pleaaaaaase give it a rest already it's all about sex and selfishness on the adulterers position. But yet they continue to be selfish in carryi ...more
Jun 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
So disappointing. Extremely predictable and Dabney is pathetic.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
This story is located in charming Nantucket and features these wonderfully dynamic characters:
Drabney: a middle-aged woman who avoids working all summer to get her hanky panky on with Clendenin. This leaves her best friend to do all the work and lie for her.
Agnes: Drabney's dimwitted daughter who is engaged to an abusive psychopath until nearly the end of the book and is surprised when he beats her up (after EVERYONE warns her of his controlling nature).
Clendenin: Agnes father and Dr
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Some parts of this book were actually pretty good, but others annoyed me so much it made my rating downgraded. Here are the things I disliked:

1. No matter how you approach the idea of "a perfect match" infidelity is infidelity and that leaves a horrible distaste in my mouth. So if he was your perfect match, tell your husband and separate. And don't get me started about leaving the job every day at noon for these trysts and how everyone covered up for her.

2. What is the author's obsession with al
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
I usually find Hilderbrand books entertaining bits of fluff but this one is just awful. There is not a character that I cared about or a plot development I didn't see coming for miles. Usually when I read her books, I long for a trip to the beach but not with this one. All I wanted to do was be finished reading it. Not since Love Story (Love Story, #1) by Erich Segal (which coincidentally plays a role in this book) have I cared so little when a main character dies. Ooops, should have said spoiler alert before including that but since e ...more
Apr 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
First, let me say that I received an ARC from the publisher through the Firstreads. Thank you!

I tried to like this book but just could not relate to the main character (Dabney) at all. Dabney's identity is too wrapped up in things other than herself. Early in the book she is upset because she forget to bring lemon tarts to a festival. Her husband tells her it doesn't matter. She gets more upset because to tell her the tarts don't matter is basically saying she doesn't matter. Dabney is too conce
Jan 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobks, 2015
I really, really enjoy Elin Hilderbrand's books, but this one was just SO AWFUL for many, many reasons. The names are just ridiculous, and listening on audio made them even more pronounced. I became increasingly annoyed by them as the story progressed and particularly loathed "The Economist" and Agnes (a grown woman) calling her mother "mommy". I did not like even ONE of the characters, and the plot was just bad. There were so many moments in this story that I thought, "This wouldn't happen" or ...more
Maureen Bamberger
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading The Matchmaker ! I've read all of Elin's books and can never put them down . This one was no different .As usual , from the first page to the last , you feel the happiness , the sadness , the love , the hate , the heartbreak ,the sand under your feet and can hear the ocean waves in the distance . Without giving too much away , this is my favorite book yet ! I'm just upset I have to now wait more than a year to enjoy her next book !
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
My coworker told me this was her favorite Hilderbrand.

To put it bluntly: NO. FUCKING. WAY.

I'm not going to spoil it for you, but let me just comment on the names. Dabney. Clen. Box. Riley. Celerie. CELERIE. There is a character named after a vegetable. Listen, Ms. Hilderbrand, people named Jane can live on Nantucket and have books written about them. I mean, good riddance. Celerie.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I know, I know....beach reading, right? My daughter said to me tonight, "Mom, don't give in to the girly and the light!! Go back to your dark and drafty reading material, quick!" I know. But, honestly, Elin Hilderbrand just can't be resisted. Her stories that take place on Nantucket are like cherries dipped in chocolate glimmering on a cold, silver plate to me. I can't help myself...I'm just hooked every summer!

This is a particularly gripping story of Elin's. It starts out light and fluffy, I'l
Alissa Patrick
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Usually at this time of year I reach for a Elin Hilderbrand book because it's a nice, beachy summery read set in Nantucket. All her books are different, all her books are the same. You expect a nice bubbly read with a tad of drama but that's it.

Not this one. Wow.

Elin Hilderbrand's novels just mean summer to me--the beach, summer, Nantucket...
Dabney 's character is magical and flawed. She has the uncanny ability to match couples and has matched dozens of couples successfully. Her own personal relationships are a bit messed up though.
Judy Collins
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 b
Connie G
The Matchmaker is a summer read about family, romance, and island life. The author is obviously fond of Nantucket making the main character, the vivacious Dabney, the head of the Chamber of Commerce. Dabney has a special magical talent of matchmaking, seeing a rosy pink aura when a couple is perfect for each other. Unfortunately, things are not going so smoothly in her own family who have emotional and health problems. This light book is a bit predictable, but would be fun to take along on a bea ...more
Rhonda Vilardo
Jul 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Blah! This book was so ridiculously predicable it made me angry. I was also angry with every single shallow character she wrote about. Agnes was pathetic, Dabney was pathetic and so was the Box character. I could've written this book myself and that is no compliment. Not one surprise. One of the most shallow things I've read in recent memory. One a good note, it was a very fast read, if only to be done with it.
Colleen Scidmore
This is the second book I've read by Elin Hilderbrand and one positive thing I have to say is it was just a tiny bit better than the first book Beautiful Day. I've heard such good things about this author, I really want to give her a chance.
But I was pretty aggravated with this book. The characters were so damn whiny it drove me crazy. I was so tired of hearing about Dabney's mother who deserted her at a young age, it became to repetitive. And I like when there is a nice MC but Dabney was like a
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
Dabney Kimball Beach is the head of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce. She is also known as the island's resident Matchmaker. As summer begins in Nantucket, she receives an email from her ex-boyfriend some 27 years before, Clendenan Hughes, that he will be back on the island the very next day. Dabney wasn't sure what to make of this news or what she was going to do when she saw Clen again. He has been the love of her life, the father of her child and the man she was supposed to be with. But now, ...more
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite books of 2014 so far. I loved Dabney the main character. I read The Tailgate, a short novella about Dabney and Clen, the love of her life and the father of her daughter, Agnes. I loved Dabney from the beginning. I wanted to know if her and Clen really stayed together all those years or if life got in the way. Which, of course, it did. Books that have the storyline of love lost and then rekindled are always bittersweet to me. Especially, when you like the "new lover" an ...more
Paula Kalin
Wow. How disappointing. I liked reading the author's books during the summer back when and enjoyed them. Nantucket is the location of choice for all of her books. As a Boston native that has visited the island a few times, location has always been the draw for me.

The Matchmaker is so juvenile. Written for an 8th grade intelligence. Once in a while I like a light summer read (when I'm buried in the snow) but there are certainly better ones out there.

I'm going to switch back to Martha's Vineyards
Shirley Schwartz
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: galley-copy
I was given the galley copy of this book by the publisher, and when I first received it I was a little apprehensive. Romance is not usually a genre that I read, but this book is actually quite remarkable. I understand that Ms. Hilderbrand is known for writing summer novels. Her books are meant for reading while lying on the sand soaking up the sun's rays. I suppose that this book could fall into that category, but it is a wonderful and terribly sad novel about a woman by the name of Dabney Kimba ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
The names were completely ridiculous. Dabney, Clendenin, and BOX.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
It is time to share another Elin Hilderbrand novel. This time the title is The Matchmaker. Like the rest of her novels it is set on Nantucket. I remember Elin discussing this novel when I had my first opportunity to meet her in the spring of 2013. I made a four hour drive on a Sunday to the main library in Charleston for this event. It was worth the journey.


Dabney Kimball Beech is well known throughout Nantucket. She works as the director of the Chamber of Congress for the city of Nant
It’s summer, which means reading the latest Elin Hilderbrand novel. My guilty pleasure.

This book takes place, as all her novels do, on Nantucket Island. Dabney Beech, a 48-year old wife and mother, believes she has a magical gift to match people with their perfect partner, and has successfully managed to link 42 couples together happily. But although she’s been married to her husband for over 20 years, her heart has always belonged to the boy she fell in love with in high school. He left the is
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Matchmaker is a story about a middle-aged woman, Dabney, who at first glance appears to have it all. She lives on Nantucket, where she grew up, is married to a Harvard professor, has a beautiful daughter and a wonderful job. She is also an amazing matchmaker with 42 couples that she set up still together.

The story develops as you find out that Dabney's life is not as charmed as it seems on the surface, her high school sweetheart and love of her life returns to the island, and her daughter an
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If one accepts the premise that true love trumps everything else, then this book works. Otherwise, you may take exception. Extraordinarily readable, filled with sympathetic characters, including Nantucket which is always a character in its own right in Hilderbrand's books. An emotionally charged, heartwarming and heartbreaking story, filled with lovely scenery, good food, and wine. Heroine Dabney is a matchmaker, with 44 successful matches under her belt by the end, and we get snippets of those ...more
Aug 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Not my favorite one by her. Couldn't stand Dabney at all, not sure why all of Nantucket adored her. And REALLY disliked Clendenin (what kind of name is that, anyway?!) I have a problem when someone has no respect for another person's marriage. I don't necessarily mind adultery in a novel, if the characters learn what a mistake it is and see how it ruins lives. But it was made OK here, no big deal. One thing I did like about the book were the blurbs about some of the couples that Dabney had gotte ...more
Margo R.
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book reminds us that our first love never dies. It tugs at our hearts forever. Dabney, the main character in this book was lucky enough to rekindle her first love later in life. Once I started this book I couldn't put it down. I had to know where rekindling that first love lead Dabney. The supporting characters also were very interesting and I am hoping to see another book centered around them in the future. This book is a perfect beach read. I was lucky enough to get this book through the ...more
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Not sure I want to continue this one..... 3 25 Apr 10, 2018 10:52AM  
Do mail order bride really exist? 1 4 Nov 05, 2016 08:00PM  
Our Novel Escape: * February BOTM #1- The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand 3 24 Feb 10, 2016 03:34PM  
What to read next 5 54 Feb 07, 2015 07:34AM  

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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.
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“Sometimes you regret the things you do, but they're over and done. Regretting the things you didn't do is tougher because they're still out there, haunting you with the what ifs.” 8 likes
“She was conscious of being alive and being present: a clear night, a golden beach, good food.” 1 likes
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