The biggest problem I had with Kelly Harms’s second novel The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay is just that I read it too soon after reading her hilariously heart-warming first novel, The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane. Where that book was laugh-out-loud funny yet inspiring look at friendship, family, and learning to love yourself with a couple of dashes of romance, The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay is more clearly defined as a romance. Not that it is a typical romance. Like that first novel, it has a well-rounded, lovable (and detestable – I’m talking about you here, Mitchell) cast of characters, a wicked sense of humor (though a bit more subtle than that which made me laugh so much in the first novel), and a good journey of self-growth for Lily. The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay also shows off Harms’s talent for description, which she used so wonderfully in her first novel to show Janey’s relationship with cooking and the beauty of the Maine coast. Here it allows us to see the world through Lily’s artist’s eye and the magic of the Minnesota winter. Her descriptions felt like looking at one of those stark but dazzling paintings of a snowy landscape and I just wanted to be there with all of the wonderful characters falling in love with one of the Hutchinson boys.
If you enjoy The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay, you might also like Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan