Matchmaking for Beginners

A Novel
Narrated by: Amy McFadden, Joyce Bean
Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,724 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2018 Maddie Dawson (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I Wanted to Like It More

You’ll notice there are two female narrators and that’s because there are two main female characters, Blix and Marnie. Actually, one — Marnie — becomes a little more prevalent than the other and we know that will happen from the very beginning. Unfortunately, Marnie spends most of the book being an idiot. I know the author intended the idiocy to be taken as naivety, but it doesn’t work. I found myself really struggling to like her and that made it difficult to continue with a book built around her. I kind of didn’t care what happened to her because she was so dumb. The rest story and characters are nice but I wish the entire thing would have been about Blix. Maybe another book with no mention of the idiot.

33 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

When I first started this book, I couldn’t stop listening to it. I liked Marnie ok, but I loved Blix. She was weird and wonderful and full of really good advice and life lessons. I was 7 hours in before I even realized it. But then Blix’s chapters stop, and we are only left with Marnie. And honestly, Marnie needed a lot of work.

I think the problem with this book is that they spent way too much time before Marnie actually makes it to New York. It gave us a whole hell of a lot of development on characters that we are never really supposed to care about, and then once she made it to New York, everything moved so quickly and we were supposed to instantly fall in love with all of these characters that just honestly weren’t that instantly lovable.

Don’t get me started on Patrick. While I did like him, I felt like their romance was stupid. It was nothing at all and then bam! Suddenly it was something. I hated how long Noah lingered. I hated that he was such a douchebag, and that Marnie couldn’t untangle herself from him. I hated how weak she was.

I hate how negative this is, because obviously I liked something about it, otherwise I wouldn’t have spent 12+ hours listening to it. But really, I don’t know if I would recommend it to anyone. It has its moments, and I think if I had actually been reading it instead of listening to it, I’d have liked it more because I could have skimmed a lot of the pre-New York crap. I hate books that tell you on the cover that someone is going to die, and a character is going to move and change her life, and then waste over half of the book before that even happens.

I’d have liked more Matchmaking (and for it to be more believable Matchmaking as well). I’d also have liked to be warned that the book was going to deal with so much magic and ridiculousness. I mean, I don’t mind magic. And I can suspend disbelief with the best of them. But the way the magic was handled here was just not good to me.

Overall, I feel like this book had a lot of potential that it completely squandered.

27 people found this helpful

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The Art of Being Selfish

The writing is enjoyable and the premise of love and magic was fun. But I'm just not picking up what the author was laying down. It felt as if we, the readers, were supposed to agree with her that of course she shouldn't like, love, or marry this perfectly sweet, nice guy who was once her best friend; of course she shouldn't want to live in a nice neighborhood with nice homes and lawns and *gasp* pools; of course she shouldn't want to live near and have a close relationship with her family; of course she should string said nice guy along while she cheats on him with her ex; of course she should be drawn to this city that she says is dirty and crowded, for no apparent reason. The whole story pretends to be about love, when really it's about selfishness. You can love oneself without being so self-involved. But this author seems to think otherwise.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Performed with so much emotion

I loved the personalities that came through the performances. It was like listening to the sparkles in the story.

2 people found this helpful

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So refreshing to laugh out loud.

I enjoyed the quirky characters in this novel and enjoyed touring for any success in their daily lives. A very fun read.

2 people found this helpful

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Sweet,and light, and filled with love

I cannot say there were no tears as some parts of this lovely novel hit close to home. However, this story was so filled with hope and joy that it reminded me of my grandmother’s pound cake which was warm and buttery, and full of the warmth of her big, big heart. I will come back to this one again.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining read

I liked the story well, it's an entertaining, light, positive read.
I heard it as an audio book though and even if she reads well Amy McFadden has the annoying habit to finish every phrase with a sound that reminds me of a creaking door. Once you conciously hear it you can't overhear it anymore . Joyce Bean's performance is excellent

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A lot of fun

Marnie MacGraw is engaged to marry Noah Spinnaker, when she meets his eccentric, unpredictable, matchmaker great-aunt Blix Holliday. Blix takes a liking to Marnie--a liking she doesn't have for her nephew, Noah. When her marriage to Noah comes crashing down around her while they're still on what was meant to be their honeymoon trip, Marnie goes home to Florida and her family, and tries to put the whole thing behind her.

Blix has other plans.

Blix told Marnie she was destined to have a "big life." Marnie doesn't want a "big life." She wants a husband and children. She's connected again with her old high school boyfriend, Jeremy, when she receives a lawyer letter telling her Blix has died, and she's inherited Blix's brownstone in Brooklyn, NY.

There are conditions, though, the most important of which is that she has to live in it for three months before getting full ownership.

Marnie hasn't just inherited Blix's brownstone. She's also inherited Blix's neighbors and friends, her "projects" who need a little help finding their way toward happiness. Blix told Marnie several times that she shares Blix's talent for matchmaking and magic. Marnie doesn't believe it. Yet, at certain times, she sees the golden sparkles...

Marnie is sweet, and kind, and wants happiness not just for herself, but for people around her. She also has a small gift for snark. This Nice Southern Girl doesn't know what to make of Brooklyn, where the buildings are old and well-worn, no one has a car and you have to shop every day, and you meet the most amazing diversity of people, just going about your daily business.

Meanwhile, her family is nagging her to just sell the building and come home, and her ex-husband, Blix's great-nephew, has settled in to Blix's apartment in the brownstone with her. He says he's taking classes; he seems unduly interested in why Blix decided to leave the building to her, rather than to her niece, Noah's mother, with whom she has always had a really bad relationship.

I'll just say right here that, if Marnie were a Sensible Northern Girl rather than a Nice Southern Girl, she'd have changed the locks on Noah, fairly early on. He's got nothing good to offer; he doesn't even like the dog who adopts her.

The tenants, Jessica and her son Sammy, and Patrick, the curmudgeonly ex-artist who was badly burned in a gas explosion, along with Blix's friend and neighbor Lola, and the bodega owner across the street, Paco, are all great characters who add to the flavor and enjoyment of the book.

This book is just a lot of fun. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

5 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

This was such an adorable story! I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter. Very sweet love story.

7 people found this helpful

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Marnie is annoying

This story was okay, but I could not get past just how irritating Marnie’s voice is read by the narrator. I found myself torn between wanting to finish the book and wanting to quit it just to get away from that annoying voice! I’m about 3/4 of the way through, so it still remains to be seen which way I go...

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dixie_Chick
  • 07-19-19

Just wonderful!

I enjoyed everything about this book - the plot, the characters, the pacing, the narrators ... I couldn’t stop listening and would highly recommend it.

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  • Dianne
  • 06-15-18

Loved it!

A wonderful story enhanced by brilliant narrators. not for sceptics as mentioned previously.

If you know that there is a kind magic swirling around us as we go about our daily lives, then you will love this story.