In 1910, on a ship to New York, 10-year-old Sara Glikman makes her first love match: she introduces her sister to the man she'll eventually marry. Sara's singular talent for matchmaking will lead her to a long career bringing soul mates together. Decades later, Sara's granddaughter, Abby, is a successful divorce lawyer in Manhattan. But after Sara's death, as Abby looks through her grandmother's old notebooks, she begins to suspect, inconveniently, that she may have inherited Sara's gift. Lynda Cohen Loigman (The Wartime Sisters; The Two-Family House) combines family secrets with a rich portrait of Jewish New York culture--and a touch of magic--in her warmhearted third novel, The Matchmaker's Gift.
Moving back and forth in time, Loigman chronicles Sara's career: making her first matches in secret as a teenager, then helping to support her family after her father's death. Sara faces stiff opposition from the local matchmakers--all older and male--and ends up representing herself at a local beis din, or rabbinical court. As Abby digs into her grandmother's story, she also navigates two tricky divorce cases at work, both of which could be affected by the strange new intuitions Abby experiences. Loigman also weaves in Abby's painful memories of her parents' divorce as well as Sara's own trials and triumphs in love. (Even for matchmakers, the course of true love rarely runs smooth.)
Insightful, charming and packed with historical New York details, The Matchmaker's Gift is a tribute to the bonds of family and taking a chance on true love. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams