The Matchmaker’s Gift [Book Review]

The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Set in New York City, The Matchmaker’s Gift shares the imagined story of a Jewish grandmother and granddaughter who share gifts of matchmaking.

The Matchmaker's Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman (cover) Image: white text on a teal background surrounded by a borner of graphic flowers and romantic images

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Jewish, Family Life, Multi-Generational, Romance, Magical Realism, New York City

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of The Matchmaker’s Gift:

Thanks #NetGalley @StMartinsPress for a complimentary e ARC of #TheMatchmakersGift upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In 1910, young Sara demonstrates a skill in matchmaking. This troubles the older, devout men in the Jewish community because she is a threat to their traditions and livelihood. Sara fights for recognition and her right to make matches. In 1994, Sara’s granddaughter (Abby) inherits Sara’s journals that document every match she made, and Abby questions her own purpose and gifts.

My Thoughts:

Uplit

Overall, this is an uplit story about a woman’s perseverance to use her gifts and how it conflicts with the Jewish culture and tradition of matchmaking. Abby adores her grandmother and wonders if she has some of her grandmother’s abilities in matchmaking.

Informative

In this dual timeline story, I learned about the matchmaking tradition in the Jewish culture. I didn’t know much about the profession of matchmaking before reading this story, but I think if someone had asked me about it, I would assume that women handled the matchmaking. However, it was informative to read that it was traditionally a man’s profession. Evidently, it was a lucrative business and the men were significantly threatened by Sara and her success.

This story reminds me of “Matchmaker” from Fiddler on the Roof.

Main Character

I loved Sara in the 1910 timeline. For a while she conducts matchmaking under the radar. Eventually. she becomes bolder and embraces matchmaking as her gift and her right. Sara is persistent and pursues her gift despite threats from the men. It’s women like Sara who have set an example of chasing your dreams even if the dream happens to be in a male dominated field.

Themes

Thoughtful themes include grandmother/granddaughter relationship, power of family, self-discovery, inherited gifts, determination, risk-taking, women in male-dominated fields,

Recommending The Matchmaker’s Gift

With a side of magic and romance (more magical realism than I usually prefer), I’m recommending this heartwarming story for readers who enjoy the mentioned themes, for readers who love reading about strong women breaking new ground, for those wanting to read more about the Jewish matchmaking tradition, and for book clubs.

Related: Also by Lynda Cohen Loigman, The Wartime Sisters.

My Rating:  4  Stars

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The Matchmaker's Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman (cover) Image: light teal text over a darker teal background, bordered with flowers

(isn’t this a lovely cover?)
More Information Here

Meet the Author of the Matchmaker’s Gift, Lynda Cohen Loigman

Author of Matchmaker's Gift and Wartime Sisters, Lynda Cohen Loigman

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Her debut novel, The 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. The Matchmaker’s Gift, her third novel, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in the fall of 2022.



QOTD:

Is this heartfelt story on your TBR or have you read it?



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8 comments

  1. I also thought matchmaking was a woman’s job. I also love to learn new things. This sounds wonderful and I love a strong, female protagonist. Wonderful review, Carol.

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