THE MATCHMAKER OF KENMARE by FRANK DELANEY

I wouldn’t call this a good read.  It’s a great read.

Narrator, Ben MacCarthy, grieving the loss of his wile, meets the Matchmaker, Kate Begley, in his journeys across Ireland in search of stories for the Irish Folklore Commission in 1943.  Kate states her faith in a legend that at birth, a man and a woman destined to marry are joined at the ankles by an invisible cord.  As time passes, the gods pull the cord tighter and tighter until the two people meet.

In pursuit of her destiny, Kate persuades Ben to join her in being undercover spies for the Allies in the World War II war zone.  At the end of their harrowing experiences, Kate is becoming as bereft as Ben.

Delaney’s masterful use of myth and mysticism in the character-driven saga prepares the reader to accept finding Kate and Ben in the middle of Kansas at the end of the novel, affectionately tending a giraffe and a pig.

And we’re also ready to accept the gods’ final twists of the invisible cords binding them to their destined mates.

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