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 clichéd 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.