Lynda Cohen Loigman's latest gift...plus a book giveaway
|Photo by Randi Childs|
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. Her debut novel, Two-Family House, was a USA Today bestseller and a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction.
Her second novel, The Wartime Sisters, was selected as a Woman’s World Book Club pick and a Best Book of 2019 by Real Simple Magazine. The Matchmakers Gift is her third novel. (Bio courtesy of Lynda's website.)
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? (Courtesy of Amazon.)
Writing this novel was an escape for me during the first year of Covid. I am incredibly proud of the fact that I wrote the most joyful book of my career during such a dark time in our collective history. The writing was its own reward—it was a balm for my soul in the middle of so much loss. In terms of challenges, this was my first dual timeline story, and I didn’t realize how much work that would be. It was essentially writing two separate stories, and I had to pay a lot of attention to the arc of each main character. I wrote the book in the order that you read it, so I was constantly weaving together the timelines and that was sometimes headache-inducing!
Who do you relate to more, Sara or Abby?
This is a tough one. I should relate to Abby more. Like Abby, I was working as a young lawyer in 1994. I never worked on divorce cases, but I did work on a few prenuptial agreements. In fact, I worked on one for a well-known artist who was marrying a model, and I based a little bit of my story on some of those encounters. In truth, however, I probably relate more to Sara. I’m not as self-assured as she is, but now that I have reached my fifties, I am starting to develop some of the confidence that eluded me when I was younger. I admire the way Sara cares for her family and the way she shows interest in the lives of everyone around her. She uses he gift to make connections, and that’s something I love about her.
If The Matchmaker's Gift were made into a movie, what are some songs you would include on the soundtrack?
Ace of Base’s "The Sign" for sure. It’s perfect for Abby’s timeline, and it was a big hit in 1994. And then for Sara’s timeline, probably the Cole Porter song "True Love." It’s the sweetest song. Bing Crosby sings it in the movie High Society, and it makes me cry every time I hear it.
Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
I am watching Bad Sisters, which is full of intense character studies. And, of course, season two of Indian Matchmaking! I can’t wait for the new season of the Great British Bake Off.
What is your favorite thing about the upcoming Jewish holiday season?
The timing of the holidays is tricky this year because my book comes out a week before Rosh Hashanah. Honestly, I love everything about the Jewish holidays—the sense of renewal and hope, the fact that a new year is beginning, and the idea that we can ask for forgiveness and start fresh. I also love making apple cake from my mother’s old recipe.
Have you ever been a matchmaker for anyone?
I’ve definitely set people up before, but none of my set-ups have ever turned into lasting relationships. My husband and I were set up on a blind date though, so I have definitely benefited from the process!
Thanks to Lynda for visiting with us and for sharing her book with our readers.
Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.
Listen to this book on Speechify!