It’s no secret that today, author Elin Hilderbrand’s life is unfortunately imitating her art. After writing over a dozen heart-warming, page-turning beach reads, including The Island, Barefoot, and The Castaways – many of which deal with the issue of mortality as well as love and romance – Hilderbrand herself is now battling breast cancer. Our thoughts are with her, especially as this week brings the publication of her new novel The Matchmaker – in which a forty-something woman finds herself diagnosed with cancer just as she is faced with the return of “the one who got away” — at the same time that her daughter becomes engaged to the wrong man.
The Matchmaker has all of the elements that make Elin Hilderbrand novels so compulsively readable. Dabney Kimball Beech is a warm, lovable, but complex heroine. Her life is filled with drama, past and present. And it all unfolds on the bucolic streets and beaches of Nantucket island, a place that is itself a character in all of Hilderbrand’s books.
Dabney is a matchmaker, with forty-two happy couples to her credit. But now her own beloved daughter is headed for disaster with her engagement to the much older, controlling billionaire sports agent CJ. Meanwhile, Dabney’s own marriage to her Harvard economist husband is growing cold, and the man she thought she’d never see again – her high school sweetheart and father of her child, has returned to the island after two decades overseas.
In the middle of this maelstrom, Dabney is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
I’m not giving anything away – that detail is in the book jacket. But what the book jacket can’t convey is how deeply you will care for Dabney and her family. I’m only halfway through this book but I can’t put it down, and want to put it out there as the must-read book of the weekend. It’s a story about love, about destiny, about soul mates and fate and all the things that make life worth living, even as it deals with the specter of life ending. Join me in Elin Hilderbrand’s world this weekend. #mamastrong
THE MATCHMAKER by Elin Hilderbrand/June 10/Little, Brown & Co.