What is this about?: A friendship and a love story, and all the things the universe puts into place to make things work.
What else is this about?: Fate versus free will in a way, I think.
In this genre-bending novel, there is no such thing as chance and every action is carefully executed by highly trained agents. You’ll never looks at coincidences the same way again.
What if the drink you just spilled, the train you just missed, or the lottery ticket you just found was not just a random occurrence? What if it’s all part of a bigger plan? What if there’s no such thing as a chance encounter? What if there are people we don’t know determining our destiny? And what if they are even planning the fate of the world?
Enter the Coincidence Makers—Guy, Emily, and Eric—three seemingly ordinary people who work for a secret organization devoted to creating and carrying out coincidences. What the rest of the world sees as random occurrences, are, in fact, carefully orchestrated events designed to spark significant changes in the lives of their targets—scientists on the brink of breakthroughs, struggling artists starved for inspiration, loves to be, or just plain people like you and me…
When an assignment of the highest level is slipped under Guy’s door one night, he knows it will be the most difficult and dangerous coincidence he’s ever had to fulfill. But not even a coincidence maker can see how this assignment is about to change all their lives and teach them the true nature of fate, free will, and the real meaning of love.
Part thriller, part mystery, part love story—Kirkus calls this genre-bending novel “a smart, unpredictable, and heartfelt adventure story.”
You know the guys chasing Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau?
That’s who The Coincidence Makers reminded me of when I first saw this story. Mind you I only watched some of it because I thought that movie was boring, but what stuck with me was the sense of ruthlessness the agents had in coordinating Damon’s and Blunt’s characters’ lives. That part is kind of the same in The Coincidence Makers, but with a softer touch if that makes sense.
Guy, Emily and Eric are our coincidence makers. They are three friends who trained together in order to help humans find their paths in life, or rather to help humans to find what they might have lost in life by taking a wrong turn somewhere. They’re all very good at their jobs – in making people fall in love, making people find their talents and pursue them and in Eric’s cases using coincidences he’s making to find dates. It’s a thing with him.
Guy is in love with Cassandra, who he met while working as an Imaginary Friends – because yes, that’s a thing here too. Yoav Blum’s imagination is a thing to behold as he casts the things you think nothing of – like imaginary friends you might have forgotten you had – IFs — people who are tasked with making kids (or adults) feel better about things in their lives. That’s how he meets Cassandra – when their kids (ie the ones who imagine them as IFs) are in a playground together. Guy falls hard, but such is the life they lead that circumstances tear them apart.
Emily is a romantic, and someone who loves entirely with her whole being I think. And she’s in love with Guy, who is in love with Cassandra, and when Emily decides to take matters into her own hands, to create the coincidence to make him see her differently, is when it all falls apart.
The Coincidence Makers toys with the idea of fate, of the universe deciding on a path for us, or Guy and Emily as the case may be versus the choices we make that go against a grand plan for us. Alongside the story of these three characters are ordinary people, going about their lives and making choices, while coincidence makes try to nudge them in the right way. Thing to remember, is they do fail, so all is not certain in this world of coincidence makers.
The writing in this book is gentle, I thought. I know it’s a weird adjective, but the writing swept over me, and I just went with the flow, wincing for Emily when she laid things out for Guy, and he denied her and she made a decision I thought she would regret.
I cheered for Guy when he stood up for something he believed in for one of his former charges, and cringed for him when he realised what he had lost.
Blum’s world and story could definitely be described as a thriller, but I lean more toward part mystery and love story that takes it’s time lining up the pieces so that when you look back at the story Blum is telling you’ll be satisfied with the hurt that comes with the ending.