Reviewed by Jenny Banks
Catherine may be London’s finest matchmaker, but all isn’t fair in love and business. Her company is taking on new clients every day, though she is yet to find her Mr. Right. But determined Catherine is looking forward, and she is taking her best friends, Sarah and Rachel, with her, as they join her dating site, RecycLove. Soon they are rating and recommending their ex-boyfriends, and finding that putting your heart in someone else’s hands can lead to surprising results.
Match Me If You Can is a very fun, witty and warm book. The central dating site plot promises some humorous situations as they each meet new people. The rationale behind RecycLove is really interesting, and it was amusing to delve into the ladies’ old relationships so they could carve out a chance at forging new ones. It could be a painful process to be rated and recommended in this way, but the ladies are soon learning new things about themselves. In Rachel’s case, she is also learning more about her ex-boyfriend and colleague, James.
Catherine, Sarah and Rachel are each engaging and hugely likeable in their own ways. After divorcing from best friend Richard in her twenties, Catherine went on with him to form RecycLove and Love Match, another part of the business. Catherine is very hardworking and motivated to find the best dates for her clients, and she seems happy to put her own love life aside to focus on other people. Sarah is kind and gentle, a keen baker, and has an incredibly sunny disposition despite enduring a tough time. She hasn’t been the same since the death of her mother, and is also trying to find a suitable place for her sister Sissy, who has Down’s syndrome, to live. Sissy was a real highlight of the book – she is earnest and funny and full of teenage spirit. Completing the trio is Rachel, up-and-coming architect and possessor of a fabulous fashion sense. Rachel is currently locked in a friendly battle over a work project with James, who is morphing into a changed man. There was a lot of bantering between the pair and it’s obvious that they once made a great couple.
I felt like I knew Catherine, Sarah and Rachel very easily and they retained their distinctive characters through the alternating chapters. I would have always welcomed more interaction between the three of them, purely because although they are great individually, they complement each other perfectly as friends, and as housemates. They have created a very cosy set up at home, even with plenty of intrusion from errant builders as their house is renovated. There are lots of subplots in Match Me If You Can, from Catherine having to deal with Richard’s fiancée, Magda, as her new business partner, to Sarah auditioning for The Great British Bake Off. The book zips along, never failing to keep the reader entertained.
Michele Gorman has delivered a treat with Match Me If You Can. It’s a brilliant, fun and hugely enjoyable book about friendships and relationships and how there really is someone for everyone.