Published by Lake Union ISBN 9781503900684
Hardcover, $24.95, 370 pages
The summer reading season is now in full swing and I just finished a book that perfectly fits the bill. Maddie Dawson's Matchmaking for Beginners is a charming story, with wonderful characters and a premise that hooks the reader right away.
The story opens with elderly Blix at a party at her niece's home in Virginia. Blix doesn't usually leave her home in Brooklyn to visit her family; she finds her niece Wendy to be a a grasping social climber. But her great-nephew Noah is bringing his fiancee Marnie to meet the family, and something told her she needs to be there. (You see, Blix has special powers, sort of like a witch. But her real forte is matchmaking.)
Wendy embarrasses Marnie at the party (she feels Marnie is marrying above her station), and Marnie finds herself outside the party where she and Blix hit it off. Blix tells Marnie that Marnie is destined to have a big life, but Marnie just wants a normal, quiet life, with a husband, kids, and a nice house.
Marnie and Noah marry, but the marriage ends after two weeks, and Marnie goes home to Florida with her parents and her perfect sister Natalie. She runs into her old high school boyfriend and they rekindle their relationship. Things are going so well, it now looks like maybe Marnie will end up with the normal life she wants.
Until the day she gets a letter from a lawyer in New York. It seems that Blix has left her home in Brooklyn to Marnie in her will. But they only spoke a total of three times, why would she do that? That is a question that Noah and his mother want answered too; they believe the house should be theirs.
Marnie has to go to New York to settle the will, and discovers that in order to inherit the house, she must live in it for three months. Her family and boyfriend are upset by this, but Marnie decides to stay. After three months, she can sell the house, have some money, and go home.
She meets the tenants who live in Blix's home: a single mom and her young son (who adored Blix) and Pat, a mysterious man who lives in the basement and never leaves his apartment. She befriends Lola, Blix's best friend and next door neighbor. Marnie becomes involved in their lives, and even finds a job working in a florist shop.
Marnie has always felt that she had a knack for matchmaking, and begins to acknowledge that maybe Blix and she were more alike than she realizes.
The characters in Matchmaking for Beginners are beautifully drawn. The family that Blix created in her home is such a New York thing- total strangers coming together, and Marnie fits right in, taking Blix's place.
The story had me turning the pages, wanting to know more about these characters and wondering which path Marnie would choose for her life. I was utterly charmed by Matchmaking for Beginners, and I would love to read a prequel about Blix and how she got to be where she ended up. I highly recommend Matchmaking for Beginners.
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me Maddie Dawson's tour. The rest of her tour stops are here: