Review Matchmaking for Beginners: A Novel by Maddie Dawson

Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller.

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.

Matchmaking for Beginners: A Novel by [Dawson, Maddie]


Editorial Reviews


“Infused with the kind of magic so frequently lost as we become adults, this one-of-a-kind novel pushes the boundaries of coincidence and connection by asking us to believe in fate and, possibly, magic once again. The characters jump off the page with their quirky habits and capture hearts with their meaningful development and interactions, leading to moments that will bring readers to tears one minute and having them laughing out loud the next.” —RT Book Reviews (Top Rated)

“I can’t remember the last time I loved the characters of a novel as much I loved those in Matchmaking for Beginners. 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. Every page of this novel was a joy to read.” —Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences and Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties

Matchmaking for Beginners walked straight into my heart, trailing a shower of golden sparkles. Dawson has created a magical world inhabited by characters so engaging and real it seems plausible they might drop by for a cup of coffee. By turns funny, wise, and poignant, this is a story about falling in love—with the painful, messy, joyful business of living.” —Kerry Anne King, bestselling author of Closer Home and I Wish You Happy

“This is a story of love: both unrequited and reciprocated romantic love, and the sweet love of a friendship that forms between two women at opposite ends of their lives. It’s a gem of a book, written with warmth, humor, and suspense, a testament to the truth that love is everything.” —Nancy Star, bestselling author of Sisters One, Two, Three

Matchmaking for Beginners is a flat-out delight! Maddie Dawson is a master at creating compulsively readable stories, full of heart and wit, and the kind of characters we wish were real. (Everyone should be blessed with a great-aunt Blix!) I loved every moment of this quirky, charming, feel-good novel!” —Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Is the New Black and The Tao of Martha

Top customer reviews

Amazon Customer:

I liked the overall story and the sweet ending. There were a few points that didn’t seem to fit in with the story, but overall a great book!


” The subversive truth about love is that it really is the big deal everyone makes it out to be, and it’s not some form of security or an insurance policy against loneliness. It’s everything, love is. It runs the whole universe.”

A very sentimental tale that weaves heartbreak, familial love, agape love, philia love and eros love with more than a dash of mystical magic mojo. Some may say too sappy (and they would be right), some would say too predictable (yes that too) but overall it was sweet and light.

It’s the meringue of beach reads for the year.

Our heroine Marnie can “see things” , but she can’t see that being dumped by her husband of 2 weeks is really the beginning of her big, BIG life that has been prophesied over her by Blix (her fiance, nee husband, nee ex-husband’s crazy aunt). Hope that makes sense. The both of them (Marnie and Blix) send out vibes and receive them back, they kind of guide them to see who would be potential mates. Hence the Matchmaking moniker.

Throw in the fact that you have neurotic mothers and MIL’s, a pregnant hormonal sister who seems to have it all and a terminal illness. Whew, that a lot of stuff to cram into a book.

This is book where you really suspend reality and laugh at the things that are obviously coming down the pike with more than a little foreshadowing. But I give the book four stars because it tugs at the heart and brings a little tear and some warm fuzzies too.

Very mild potty language and some non descriptive sex scenes make this one you could pass along to your mom without worry.

jcatTop Contributor: Pets – TOP 500 REVIEWER:

That was one of my favorite statements from Blix. I was frankly disappointed when I perused the First Reads selections for this month. No Sci-Fi. No Paranormal. No interesting horror. Just like last month (which I passed on). Determined to read an “ordinary’ novel if I had to, I closed my eyes and picked this one. Turns out I’m pleased to have chosen this book.

Blix, the strange Great Aunt. My favorite character in a long time. She was wonderfully eccentric and lovable. The first half of this book was alternating POV’s , which worked rather well. It enabled the reader to get to know both main characters and their thought processes. Because of Blix, I was sucked into the story more easily than I would have been if things had only been told from the Heroine’s viewpoint. Because Marnie (the ?Heroine?) didn’t always appeal to me. She was a bit too emotionally damaged, and she really didn’t treat Jeremy (one of her love interests) all that well.

There was family drama. There was love gone bad (and good). There was humor–I actually laughed out loud when Marnie and Patrick attempted to cook live lobsters. ( I hate to give a spoiler, but I will say that the lobsters won). Through it all, Blix made the entire story worthwhile, even when she wasn’t physically present. And there was even just a touch of ‘maybe’ paranormal, which for me, made it even that much better. Best of all, it’s a complete story. No ‘Book 1’. No cliffhanger ending. I’d almost forgotten just how satisfying that can be.

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