Review by Adrina Palmer
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 look at coincidences the same way again.
Israeli writer Yoav Blum’s book ‘The Coincidence Makers’ is setting its course for America, along with eight other countries. Thank goodness, because our country will be blessed by the imagination of this internationally best-selling author. If you have watched the movie “Drop Dead Fred” or read any novels by Cecelia Ahern (‘P.S. I Love You’) then you will embrace this think-outside-the-box novel about the life of those in charge of shaping lives by a single coincidence. Blum spreads his pages across several genres creating magic for those who enjoy suspense, sci-fi, romance, mystery, and even comedy.
Imagine a world where chance was not an accident. Where every slight incident was plotted out by someone and not an irregular occurrence. Enter The Coincidence Makers, Guy, Emily, and Eric. Their job involves orchestrating random events to push people to make the correct life decisions. A talented poet-to-be might lose his dead-end job to realize his dream. A couple destined to fall in love might find themselves serenaded with subliminal messages before bumping into each other on the beach at sunset. These are not arbitrary events but staged circumstances based on a manilla envelope. These makers of fate live in the world as ordinary people, a customer in a coffee shop or a passenger on a bus, while working for a secret organization assigned to organizing coincidences. They are the sparks the lead to fires in the lives of their targets.
The main character Guy, is content with his job until a high-level coincidence slips under his door in the night, as all assignments arrive. Guy never imagines a life past gently nudging people towards a better life. He is content despite the lack of his one true love. Years before becoming a coincidence maker, Guy had been an imaginary friend. He served his charges in whatever capacity they dreamed up until one day he met another imaginary friend with a soul as beautiful as the human body her assignment had dreamed up. When the job became too much, as he had to play his assigned part, Guy lost his job and his beautiful Cassandra. Meanwhile, Emily found her job too much to bear. Unlike Eric who was born for the job, and Guy who assembles coincidences with ease, Emily works much harder and yet still has fails tucked into her belt. When the pressure boils over, she signs the waiver releasing herself from her duties but finds out life in the real world might not be an option to combat her depression.
Guy finds himself pulled into a massive coincidence job along with a superior. Not a simple coincidence, like a love match or a doctor available for a sudden heart attack, but one that will rock the world for him and his team. Never one to follow the rules, he soon realizes his inability to behave has major ramifications not just for himself but for a whole series of events that will no longer fit into the perfect puzzle. Here comes the suspense. Guy needs to decide if he wants to betray a former client from his days as an imaginary friend, the same kid he was with when he met Cassandra, or help arrange events to save the lives of thousands of people around the world.
Author Yoav Blum has moved to the top of my favorite writers, and I had not even heard of him until now. Two mild problems did not tarnish his gentle and fluid storytelling. One character dripped through the pages before disappearing without closure. Also, I figured out a couple of the twists before their big reveal, however, this did not diminish the journey in any way. I want this book on my bookshelf right next to my favorites. I’m annoyed to find out he has two other books with equally compelling plots not yet translated into English. Rarely does a book appear as imaginative and captivating as this book while breaking all the barriers of reality. This book is one of my new best friends. One I will read often like visiting a pal in a coffee shop. You would be hard-pressed to find a more engaging, unconventional, and inspiring narrative.
Available in bookstores March 6th