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.
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Jewish, Family Life, Multi-Generational, Romance, Magical Realism, New York City
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(isn’t this a lovely cover?)
More Information Here
Meet the Author of the Matchmaker’s Gift, Lynda Cohen Loigman
Is this heartfelt story on your TBR or have you read it?
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I purchase or borrow from the library all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc)
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I love ‘a side of magic’ in any story. Sounds intriguing.
I expect this might be a fun story for you!
This sounds good Carol, and it made me think of Fiddler on the Roof as well!
It’s a delightful story!
I loved this! I’m so glad you enjoyed it as well. Your review is spot on.
Thanks Wendy! 🙌💖
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.
Thanks Carla! Lots to love in this story!
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