cover image The Coincidence Makers

The Coincidence Makers

Yoav Blum, trans. from the Hebrew by Ira Moskowitz. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-14611-3

Israeli author Blum makes his English-language debut with a clever mix of fantasy and mystery that supposes that some coincidences—the important ones—are arranged by the minions of an undefined almost-all-knowing agency. Past coincidence makers have been responsible for, among other things, the success of the Normandy invasion and the discovery of penicillin and X-rays. Guy and Emily are newly minted coincidence makers, promoted from the ranks of imaginary friends, living in apartments in a dreamlike locale. When they complete a coincidence, their next assignment arrives in an envelope slipped under their respective doors. One of Guy’s first assignments is “to cause a particular employee at a shoe factory to lose his job,” so the man, unaware that he’s a brilliant composer, can discover his talent for music. Emily has a great secret that she can’t share and is deeply in love with Guy. She arranges a complex coincidence to cause him to fall in love with her, but it fails. Meanwhile, Guy receives an assignment to concoct a coincidence that could profoundly change their lives. Blum rides the delicate balance between the world of the truly unbelievable and the universe you can see if you squint your eyes just right. (Mar.)