I received a copy of Matchmaking For Beginners by Maddie Dawson from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review. I really enjoyed this sweet book that kept me smiling as I read. The characters are funny and believable and the story has just enough magic to still feel real.
“Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would. When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps. And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.”
Marnie meets Blix at a family party in the beginning of the book and the relationship they form is immediate, but Marnie is understandably surprised when Blix passes away and leaves her a house. While Marnie is settling what could be an ordinary life near her family and with a safe man who won’t leave her like her former fiancé, she takes the risk of settling into Blix’s life in Brooklyn and learns what else can be. She finds a job in a flower shop and finds she is good at helping people make romantic gestures and choose the right flowers to go with them. The neighbors become her friends and those who loved Blix love her too. I missed seeing more of Blix in the story because she passed away early on, but bits of her can be seen in the other characters.
The author manages to create characters in all stages of life, from the 10 year old boy and his separated parents to the older woman nervous about finding new love to Marnie herself, who is learning that Blix’s motto “Whatever happens, love that,” is a wonderful one.
One thing that confused me was that in one of the reviews on the back of the book, it said, “Maddie Dawson has spun a story as magical as her delightful protagonist, Blix, who can’t help but cause chaos as she brings the right people together in the most unconventional ways.” Blix wasn’t really the protagonist, as Marnie was the featured character, and I did not see much chaos or unconventional matchmaking. I mainly saw a lot of love and friendship with a little bit of magic.
What have you been reading lately?