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Matchmaking for Beginners

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  51,086 ratings  ·  4,178 reviews
Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.

When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
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Kenneth Buff Not really. It's about adults, so it has adult themes, situations, and language, but it is very breezy.…moreNot really. It's about adults, so it has adult themes, situations, and language, but it is very breezy.(less)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  51,086 ratings  ·  4,178 reviews

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Larry H
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

What a terrific, sweet charmer of a book this was!!

Every family has at least one oddball, one eccentric. Free-spirited Blix Holliday is her family's black sheep, and that doesn't bother her one bit, because she doesn't like them much anyway.

She believes there's a perfect match for everyone, she believes in thought energy, watching people's auras, and her ability to wish things into existence—and she has a book of spells to prove it. Now in her 80s and terminally ill, she wants to live
I saw the word “matchmaking” in this title and thought hell yeah, and then I saw the cover and thought hell yeah, and then I started reading and discovered the weird inclusion of strange spiritual lowkey magical realism and thought hell no…

And then the rest of the reading experience was mostly the latter reaction.

This just felt like it focused on all the things I did not want. The main character’s descent into sadness. The main character’s weird, also sad, unbelievably mundane life
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Marnie knows where her life is headed. She's engaged to the love of her life, Noah, and together they will create a stable, ordinary life. Yes, Marnie can see her future. The problem is that she's 100% wrong.

Noah's great-aunt Blix only meets Marnie twice, but she instantly recognizes a fellow spirit, another matchmaker who can see the magic and love in the universe. She's also convinced Marnie has a big, big life in store. And it doesn't involve Noah. It turns out old Aunt Blix might have been o
Patricia Sage
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
I liked this book. It was a cute, quick read. I liked Blix although I would have liked to hear more about her. Marnie got on my nerves at times, especially when Noah continually came into the house to take things. After the first time, what idiot doesn't change the locks? The man came in the house, uninvited, to take things, four times! ...more
Em Lost In Books
What a mess of a story!! It was all over the place, characters didn't help either, and the author added some magical touch to it which made it weird and boring. :| ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerry Anne King
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
MATCHMAKING FOR BEGINNERS walked straight into my heart, trailing a shower of golden sparkles. Dawson has created a magical world inhabited by characters so engaging and real it seems plausible they might drop by for a cup of coffee. By turns funny, wise, and poignant, this is a story about falling in love—with the painful, messy, joyful business of living.
Books on Stereo
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Matchmaking for Beginners is a nonsensical, overly sappy romance novel that features a incoherent story coupled with insufferable characters.
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So here's the thing....sometimes you want a book that is sweet and lighthearted and with a happy ever after. It has been a long time since I read purely for fun.

And this book was sweet. Less lighthearted than I expected. It had a lost inheritance and lots of love and a "bad guy" and more than one good guy and you can't forget about the magic.

But, the reason I gave it 5 stars, is because I didn't expect to love two of the characters - Blix, and her lover, Houndry. Blix could have felt silly but
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Pay no attention to Wendy… She missed the class on manners because she was attending two extra courses on personal intimidation.

The life force is running out of this room! I’ve been at funerals that had better vibrations than this.

We never got married because I’ve finally learned that if you have to bring the law into your personal relationships, then you’re doing it wrong.

One time he said to me, “You know, I had a great six-pack when I was young,” and I said to him, “Bragging ab
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*2.5 stars*

My very first audible romance and the narrators, Amy McFadden and Joyce Bean, were pure joy to listen to; elevating the story from mundane to something quite remarkable.

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it wou
Jill Urie
May 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
ok. I wanted to love this. I really liked the idea of the plot. And ultimately that is what kept me reading. I wanted to know how it ended.

But I struggled with the writing. A lot. And I wouldn't say that I'm overly particular about that usually. But. It just felt amateur. The dialogue, especially, rubbed me the wrong way. It often felt completely implausible or stilted or a million other off-putting things.

Also. Marnie just annoyed me. Her name annoyed me. Her relationship with Noah? And Jeremy
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting read with some magic forces at work, whether you believe them or not! The magic is not over the top; it consists of Blix Holliday, an elderly great aunt of Marnie’s fiancée, Noah. Noah once was a caring and loving nephew to his great Aunt Blix when he was very young; now he is an arrogant, immature, haughty, rude and absolutely spoiled young man.

When Blix first sees Marnie at the engagement party, there is an immediate connection between the two women and Blix calls Marnie over to
Marilyn Rothstein
Fantastic fun, fabulously well-written

I loved this delightful, honey of a novel and recommend it to all. Maddie Dawson, thank you for the entertainment, the escape as well as your knowing commentary on life and love.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was unexpectedly perfect and lovely.

This is ultimately a feel good story about an endearing woman named Marnie who has to struggle a bit to figure out who she is and where she wants to be. This self-discovery is strongly aided by a push from our other protagonist/POV, a charming elderly lady named Blix who sees herself in Marnie. There is also an inheritance of not just property in Brooklyn but really a second, quirky family of sorts. This is a book centered around love, but it’s lov
Jun 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: june2018
This book started promising but unfortunately it went downhill from there, the protagonist is an immature, self-absorbed and a cheater on top of it all, she hurts this actual sweet guy twice and the hurt she causes in his life is dismissed as “he was too boring and now he can find his true love” but the thing is that there’s nothing more boring than her, she’s the least exciting person in the book, every other character is more interesting and complex than her. My feelings about this book can be ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magical realism meets chick-lit. In other words, simply charming.

And now I want to move to Brooklyn too!!
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite kind of books, you know the ones I am talking about, the ones that leave you with a tear in your eye and a smile on your face. The kind of book you don't want to end..... This is not my normal genre but I am so glad I gave this book a chance. This book is full of wonderfully colorful characters and the ups and downs of life and once you pick it up it will be hard to put down. Welcome to Blix Holliday's world. ...more
Definitely made me think of Hallmark or Lifetime movies.

Matchmaking for Beginners was a meh kind of book. Not boring but not really exciting either. Out of all the characters, only one was really my favorite: Blix. She is into all of this magic stuff, whether its getting people to fall in love or some tumor healing on herself. She was just full of spark and spunk and I love every second of her in this book.

Besides her, you will also meet Marnie. She's meh in all sorts of ways. She annoyed me con
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-faves
Maddie Dawson's Matchmaking for Beginners was unexpectedly delightful. Just when I think that I've been disappointed by too many books lately, along comes this little gem, and yes I live for these delicious surprises. What most compelled me was Dawson's writing style; it's engaging, witty and it hits the right tone. I enjoyed how so much wisdom about love, life and death was dispersed with humor and lightheartedness, coming through even clearer because of it.
There's so much heart in these charac
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, contemporary
Marnie is the MOST unlikable character that's ever existed.

I think the author meant for readers to like Marnie, but she's the worst. Let me count the ways:
1) No agency. Life happens to Marnie, she doesn't make many decisions and all the action comes from stuff just showing up in her path.
2) She's basic. Marnie spends half the book talking about how all she wants is a "normal life." She has no interests or hobbies or things she loves. I couldn't even tell you if she has a favorite food, or if she
Rachel McMillan
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it

stayed up finishing this.


first off, it had one of the most arresting voices i have read in a long time. it balanced humour and tragedy deftly and it was an utter delight

whimsical and with splashes of magic realism, it has the notes of Sarah Addison Allen but with the joy and sly asides of Rainbow Rowell, not to mention the textured characters of Billie Letts.

Marnie is a completely relatable and snort-your-coffee-out hilarious commentator on what is happening around when she inh
Christine Nolfi
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A magical confection about two women at opposite ends of life’s funny, messy, joyful dance. You’ll cheer for the eccentric Blix and root for Marnie, her young, unexpecting protégé. Highly recommended—with sprinkles on top.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“You need a mantra to help you. You can borrow mine, if you want: ‘Whatever happens, love that.’”

Oh my. I hardly ever give lighter books like this a full 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️. Actually, rarely give 5 stars at all! But here’s the thing, from page 1 all the way until I closed the book, I had a great goofy smile lighting up my face. Oh, this was fun and quirky, emotional and overall just a great time. Excellent job Maddie Dawson, looks like I‘m off to discover your backlist!!
Emily Wilkinson (enw_reads)
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
Well, that was adorable!

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a home in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would. Marnie’s life abruptly changes and she’s left to pick up to the pieces and try to find the “big life” she wants. review: I thought this was such a cute, charming read! If
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Need a great summer read? When I read this novel, I didn't know that it was technically the sequel to Matchmaking for Beginners. It can easily be read as a stand alone. Of course, after reading A Happy Catastrophe, I will definitely be adding the first book to my wishlist!⁣⁣⁣
I loved it right when I started reading. This was a book where the pages just flew by. The characters are flawed and real and therefore...I was super invested in their story. I was able to relate to everyone in the book in s
Mizz Latte
Why in the EFF is she talking her fiance into marrying her on their wedding day?!!

A wedding day that he shows up an hour late to and TELLS HER he doesn't want to marry her. So what does she do? she tells him they should get married anyway and they could get divorced later. He refuses (good on him) but she talks him into it


her words: "I explain then how much more terrible it would be if one of us has to walk into that church and break the hearts of my parents and all the people sitting t
Claudia Staude
Whatever happens, love that!

Loved this novel! Marnie has a wonderfully messy life and when Blix steps into it, things get even more wonderful and messy. You will laugh, cry, and believe in magic again while reading this book! Simply delightful!!!
Denise Wilbanks | This Is My Everybody
How much did I love this book? Well… I read it in one day!

Maybe because Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson is a complete valentine to what the experience can be like to move to NYC… A previous personal experience that I found to be true and still hold very dear.

Over and over again, the main character will be faced with choosing anger or choosing love after enduring bitter disappointment. She is challenged by the mental fog of familial and societal pressures… All while not having yet gain
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, chiclit
Delightful "kindle first" eBook for May. I tend to lower my expectations somewhat when I download a book for free and I become giddy when free downloads turn out to be good or great. I am now a fan of Maddie Dawson and I am giddy to have found this book. In Matchmaking For Beginners, Dawson takes a fun look at the intuitive powers that apparently some people have in finding love for other people. Marnie is a twenty nine year old who can see sparkles and feel love blooming around her but she defi ...more
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I'm the author of nine novels about love, crazy families, secrets, parenthood, and--yes, they have happy endings and some laughs. My newest, THE MAGIC OF FOUND OBJECTS, comes out on Aug. 1st, 2021. And I can't wait!

Also by me: A Happy Catastrophe, Matchmaking for Beginners, The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness, The Opposite of Maybe, The Stuff That Never Happened, Kissing Games of the World a

Articles featuring this book

Ah yes, the allure of new love! Be prepared to be charmed, wooed, and—of course—seduced by these most popular romance novels of the past three...
334 likes · 96 comments
“Whatever happens, love that.” 24 likes
“it’s in the broken places where the light gets in.” 18 likes
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