THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT by Lynda Cohen Loigman
St. Martin’s Press | September 20, 2022 | hardcover | $27.99
Is finding true love a calling or a curse?
USA Today bestselling author Lynda Cohen Loigman, whose novels have been called “richly textured” (Associated Press), “emotional and dreamy” (Bustle), returns with her most mesmerizing and memorable novel yet: THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT (St. Martin’s Press; September 20, 2022; hardcover).
Lynda chats with Authorlink about what inspired her to write the story and about her unfolding publishing career.
Heartfelt and magical, THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT is about two women from two different eras—a matchmaker and her divorce attorney granddaughter—who defy societal expectations and embrace their unique gift for seeing soulmates in the most unexpected of places.
Even as a child, Sara Glikman knew she was destined to be a matchmaker. But in the early 1900’s on the Lower East Side of New York that position was reserved for devout, older men. The neighborhood matchmakers (shadchanim in Yiddish) did not take well to young Sara, who threatened their traditions and their livelihood. She operated in secret for a decade before demanding that the matchmakers halt their harassment and give her the respect and recognition she deserved.
When Sara dies in the 1990’s, her beloved granddaughter Abby inherits her journals, which detail the matches Sara made and the obstacles she overcame. As Abby connects with Sara’s words, she discovers her own matchmaking intuition, which turns out to be an inconvenient talent for a young, promising divorce attorney. Abby must weigh cultural expectations and career aspirations against her own happiness—the same battle her grandmother fought generations earlier, and that women continue to fight even today.
Chapters alternate between Sara and Abby’s perspectives. Loigman’s dual-timeline story takes the reader from the turn of the century to the end of the century. Colorful characters and dabs of humor keep the pages buoyant, but relatable struggles around career, romance, and self-discovery give the chapters weight, along with additional themes of divine will, grief, and optimism.
In researching the novel, Loigman discovered that most Jewish matchmakers in early 1900s New York were men. “I imagined how a group of religious men would feel about a young, unmarried woman who was blessed with a gift that allowed her to do their job better than they ever could,” she explains. “I thought about my own work as a young lawyer in the 1990s and wove those disappointments and insecurities into Abby’s professional life. The Matchmaker’s Gift became a story about women whose intelligence, ambition, and talents were suppressed, but who nonetheless found the strength to follow their calling.”
As Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace, notes “Loigman brilliantly illuminates the struggle of two women, generations apart, torn between society’s traditions and expectations and their own personal fulfillment.”
About Lynda Cohen Loigman
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.
SELECT PRAISE FOR THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT
“… exciting, sincere, and beautiful.”—BOOKLIST
“Charming.”—Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
“Loigman’s latest is a gem.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code
“Glorious and powerful.”—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace
BOOKSELLERS LOVE THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT
“A thoughtful and delightful read.”—Rae Ann Parker, Parnassus Books
“This book was just what I needed, full of timeless wisdom and gentle gifts.”— Rachel Person, Northshire
“A delight from start to finish! A story brimming with love and wonderfully wise insights, I devoured every heartwarming page. For anyone who believes in the power of love, this book is a must read.”
—Jane Simons, The Dog Eared Book
“A grandmother’ s library offers a young divorce attorney a surprising legacy in this superb new novel by Lynda Cohen Loigman. Filled with well-crafted characters, fascinating historical details, and a touch of magical realism, The Matchmaker’s Gift is a perfect match for book clubs and avid readers. Isn’t love always a little bit magic?”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller
“The Matchmaker’s Gift is pure delight! After the death of her grandmother, a Jewish matchmaker, a young woman discovers the stories behind her grandmother’s matches. But will she discover the most valuable thing of all – her own destiny? The pages will fly by as you sink into this absolutely charming and engaging novel.”
—Mary O’Malley, Skylark Bookshop
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