A stealth meditation

A middle-aged mother and prosperous wife on Nantucket finds her has-it-all life upended when the man who broke her heart reappears after a three-decade absence. The setup for the 13th novel from Elin Hilderbrand, A&S '91, feels like her usual breezy, best-selling romantic fare. But then illness throws this clich├ęd Nicholas Sparks–like conflict off the rails, and The Matchmaker (Little Brown, 2014) comes to grips with more difficult issues than mere matters of the heart. A thoughtful meditation on mortality disguised as a formulaic summer beach read.