Review by Anissa Telle
The 50Plus Book of the Month for MARCH recommended by Andrea Peskind Katz from Great Thoughts, Great Readers is:
by Linda Cohen Loigman
The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman is a lovely book of historical fiction. It features a dual time period of 1920s and the 1990s in New York. The book instantly draws you in with the enterprising and compassionate Sara who has a unique gift of finding and matching up soul mates. Her granddaughter, Abby, shares her gift, but Abby has no interest in continuing this journey of love connections.
New York in the Jewish Quarter for Sara is not an easy path to navigate as she is first a girl and later a woman who remains limited by the career male matchmakers, the shadchanim. We learn that she will not hide her gift or limit the ability it has to find true love matches. Her road is difficult, but through her perseverance and the devotion to her family we hope she will find a path toward acceptance and compromise. Her true essence is admirable.
For Abby, New York most of the barriers that were so limiting to her grandmother are no longer in place. She has a thriving career as an independent divorce attorney. However, her grandmother’s death and her subsequent inheritance of the journals that document decades of matches made by Sara uncover a world of hidden secrets. Abby must choose between what the world views as success and her devotion to her beloved grandmother. When the reckoning comes, it is swift and unexpected. Hopefully the ending will prove as satisfying to others as it was to me.
The bottom line
I enjoyed every minute of this lyrical novel and did not want it to end. This intriguing story is told in multiple voices, including through the journals of Sara. Alternating timelines provide backstory and slowly reveal secrets. The description of the landscape of early New York and heritage of strong women matchmakers like Sara and Abby is unforgettable. This is a profession that I did not know much about. The author shares magic, luck, patience, and the careful balance of connecting others to their destiny on every page. The Matchmaker’s Gift is another triumph by Loigman with her unfailing ability of characterization, pacing, plotting, and creation of rich stories with strong heroines. I recommend you move this novel the top of your “To Be Read” list.
St. Martin’s Press provided me with a free advance reader copy from in exchange for my honest review from Net Galley. The opinions shared in this review are my own.
About the Author:
Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Her debut novel, Two-Family House, was a USA Today bestseller and a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Wartime Sisters, was selected as a Woman’s World Book Club pick and a Best Book of 2019 by Real Simple Magazine. Her third novel, The Matchmaker’s Gift, is being published by St. Martin’s Press on September 20, 2022. Learn more about Lynda Cohen Ligman HERE
About Andrea Peskind Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS:
Andrea Peskind Katz runs Great Thoughts, Great Readers, a Book Salon presented via her private FB group where approximately 5000 prolific readers and authors interact. She also founded Greatthoughts.com, a lifestyle website blog focusing on Great Books and Great Travel. To quote Robert Frost, she created her “second act” career to “unite my avocation and my vocation”. After 20 years in high pressure sales, Andrea retired to spend time doing what she loves best: hanging with her family, reading good books.
Each month, Andrea chooses a book for 50PlusToday that is either written by or for 50Plus individuals.