Tuesday, September 30, 2014

424 (2014 #52). The Matchmaker

by Elin Hilderbrand,
read by Erin Bennett

Chick-lit beach-read romance about a married woman who meets up with the love of her life (and the father of her daughter) 27 years after he leaves Nantucket Island to pursue a career in journalism.  Dabney Kimball Beech is now married to a Harvard economist, John Boxmiller "Box" Beech, who commutes to the island for weekends because Dabney won't leave it.  Her mother abandoned her in a New York City hotel when she was 10, and, except for her years at Harvard and necessary medical appointments, she stays put in Nantucket. Not surprisingly, she becomes the island's biggest cheerleader as executive director of the chamber of commerce.

Then Pulitzer prizewinner Clendenin "Clen" Hughes returns to Nantucket, after losing one arm while pursuing a story.  He immediately pursues Dabney, and it doesn't take her long to succumb.

I found both Dabney and Clen to be unlikable characters.  Box, who marries her and adopts and raises her daughter Agnes, is indirectly blamed for Dabney's affair with Clen because he isn't attentive enough.  Oh please.  The man is forced by Dabney's reluctance to leave the island to be a commuter husband, yet he resists the temptation of an attractive co-worker and (I assume) numerous Harvard co-eds.  Agnes is the most interesting character, as she finds she's better off without her control-freak fiance and becomes friends with someone far more appropriate.

Actress Erin Bennett is a good audiobook reader, but this story moved very slowly.  Dabney also has a reputation as a successful matchmaker, with 40-something couples to her credit.  The stories of a few of those intersperse chapters told from the viewpoints of the four main characters, which slows the narrative down.

Author Elin Hilderbrand writes romances set on Nantucket, where she lives.  This book doesn't particularly inspire me to read any more of them.

© Amanda Pape - 2014

[The audiobook, and a print copy for reference, were borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

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