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Jennifer Vido | Jen's Jewels Interview: THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT by Lynda Cohen Loigman


The Matchmaker's Gift
Lynda Cohen Loigman

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A Novel


September 2022
On Sale: September 20, 2022
Featuring: Abby
320 pages
ISBN: 1250278090
EAN: 9781250278098
Kindle: B09NTJWQMG
Hardcover / e-Book
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Also by Lynda Cohen Loigman:
The Matchmaker's Gift, September 2022
Add to review list
The Wartime Sisters, March 2020
The Wartime Sisters, February 2019
The Two-Family House, April 2017

Jennifer Vido: What inspired your new release, THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT?

Lynda Cohen Loigman: The spark for The Matchmaker’s Gift originated during the Covid-19 lockdown, when my daughter—then in her junior year of college—moved back home along with her roommate. Before they arrived, I’d gotten used being the only woman in a household of men. But with the addition of two outspoken, insightful, college-age women, the conversation around our dinner table shifted. We talked about what they were studying in their classes, but also about the challenges young women face: socially, academically, and in the professional world. 

That summer, our favorite lockdown television binge was the Netflix show Indian Matchmaking. At some point, my daughter’s roommate told us about her grandmother, who had worked as an orthodox Jewish matchmaker in Brooklyn. The New York Times had even run an article about her, back in the 1960’s. Suddenly, a multigenerational matchmaker book began to occupy my thoughts.

As the story came together, I poured my frustration for all young women into its pages. The Matchmaker’s Gift became more than a story about love––it became a story about women whose intelligence, ambition, and gifts were suppressed, but who nonetheless found the strength to follow their calling.

 

Jen: Why special talent does Sara Glikman possess? And, what obstacles does she face in light of it?

Lynda: Sara’s gift is something greater than simple intuition—she can literally see when two people are soulmates. In the story, when two people are meant for each other, Sara sees a thread of light connecting them. Unfortunately, however, she is not free to practice this gift without complications.

In the process of researching this book, I found that most Jewish matchmakers in the early 1900’s in New York were men. This fact led me to imagine what it would have been like for Sara to earn a living while competing against them. I imagined how a group of strictly religious, older men might treat a young, unmarried woman who was blessed with a gift that allowed her to excel at their chosen career. She would be a threat to their traditions and their livelihood, and I decided that they would make her life difficult.

Despite her talents, the male matchmaker community tries to bully Sara into giving up her gift. For years, she makes matches in secret and without any compensation.

 

Jen: Let’s fast forward to the 1990s. How does Abby, Sara's granddaughter, form a connection with her grandmother? And what impact does it have on her professional aspirations?

Lynda: Abby is close to her grandmother from an early age, but when Abby’s parents get divorced, Sara moves from Florida to New York in order to help Abby’s mother with childcare. It is during this period that Abby and Sara form a truly unbreakable bond.

Despite their closeness, Abby’s professional path is very different from her grandmother’s. When she is ten years old, Sara is told by her rabbi that she has a gift for making matches. In contrast, when Abby is a similar age and makes the mistake of questioning her father’s alimony obligations, he challenges her to become a divorce attorney. Abby takes this challenge seriously and decides to become the kind of attorney she wished her mother had during her parents’ split.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, Abby loses sight of her original mission. Facilitating break-ups for the rich and famous is not as rewarding or fulfilling as she wishes it to be. And when Abby realizes that she may have inherited her grandmother’s gift, her career gets turned upside down.

 

Jen: What was the most fascinating thing you learned during the research process?

Lynda: There were so many wonderful tidbits! One of my favorites was the Lower East Side “knish war” of 1916. Two rival knish shops opened across from each other on Rivington Street. In order to steal customers away from each other, they lowered their prices, hired live musicians, and even gave out coupons and prizes. The whole thing sounded like an episode of Seinfeld!

 

Jen: What do you hope readers take away from this story?

Lynda: The Matchmaker’s Gift is my third novel, but it is, without question, my most joyful story. I hope that readers come away with some of that joy, and that it brings them a bit of the magic I tried to sprinkle throughout this book’s pages.

 

Jen: A question I must ask…what are your thoughts about the art of matchmaking?

Lynda: This is such an interesting question! In theory, the idea of matchmaking is a beautiful one. My husband and I were set up by a mutual friend on a blind date, so I would never say that it can’t work. In practice, though, I think it is extremely difficult to implement successfully. Love and attraction are too mysterious, and I’m pretty sure my husband and I just got lucky!

 

Jen: Sneak peek! What’s your current work in progress?

Lynda: I am working on a historical novel inspired by my husband’s great grandmother, who graduated from pharmacy school in 1921. The story follows a female pharmacist who is caught between her father’s unwavering faith in conventional medicine and her great aunt’s less traditional homemade remedies. There’s a lot of chicken soup, a dash of magic, and possibly a love potion that goes wrong.

 

Jen: What’s on your TBR pile for fall?

Lynda:

An ARC of The Sweet Spot by Amy Poeppel

An ARC of Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison

Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

 

Jen: What’s the best way for readers to stay connected with you?

Lynda: I’m active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and I also have a website.

 

Jen: Thank you for stopping by to chat about your fascinating story, THE MATCHMAKER’S GIFT. Best of luck with your new release!

Lynda: Thank you SO much for having me, Jen!!

THE MATCHMAKER'S GIFT by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Matchmaker's Gift

A Novel

 

Even as a child in 1910, Sara Glikman knows her gift: she is a maker of matches and a seeker of soulmates. But among the pushcart-crowded streets of New York’s Lower East Side, Sara’s vocation is dominated by devout older men—men who see a talented female matchmaker as a dangerous threat to their traditions and livelihood. After making matches in secret for more than a decade, Sara must fight to take her rightful place among her peers, and to demand the recognition she deserves.

Two generations later, Sara’s granddaughter, Abby, is a successful Manhattan divorce attorney, representing the city’s wealthiest clients. When her beloved Grandma Sara dies, Abby inherits her collection of handwritten journals recording the details of Sara’s matches. But among the faded volumes, Abby finds more questions than answers. Why did Abby’s grandmother leave this library to her and what did she hope Abby would discover within its pages? Why does the work Abby once found so compelling suddenly feel inconsequential and flawed? Is Abby willing to sacrifice the career she’s worked so hard for in order to keep her grandmother’s mysterious promise to a stranger? And is there really such a thing as love at first sight?

 

Historical [St. Martin's Press, On Sale: September 20, 2022, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781250278098 / eISBN: 9781250278098]

Buy THE MATCHMAKER'S GIFTAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Book Depository | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

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. She is now a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, NY.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido is best known for her nationally syndicated Jen's Jewels author interview column. A savvy book blogger she dishes the scoop on the latest happenings in the publishing business. As a national spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation, she has been featured by Lifetime Television, Redbook, Health MonitorThe New York TimesThe Baltimore Sun, Healthguru.com, and Arthritis Today. She is the author of the Piper O’Donnell Mystery series. Currently, she lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and two sons.

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