Little, Brown and Company | March 2017 | 368 pgs
Source: Library

It all started on one particularly wine-soaked dinner party. Lucy and Owen invited a couple over to their house for some chitchat and mingling and their conversation has somehow steered towards relationship and open marriage. Lucy, the ever practical and sensible woman she is, balked over the idea for she couldn't imagine a normal couple would agree with that kind of suggestion. Lucy and Owen have been living in Beekman for a while where it is a town filled with stay-at-home moms who would team up to cook the school lunches and the dads would make things like pickles and cheese and ground their own spices for dinner parties. They're simple just like that. 

Lucy and Owen have traded their cramped Manhattan apartment to Beekman partly for the laid-back atmosphere but also for the sake of their autistic son, Wyatt. Lucy and Owen may not be a perfect couple but they do try their best to make their life happy and stress-free, which is challenging due to Wyatt who requires attention most of the times. As much as Lucy is dumbstruck over the open marriage issue, there is a small part of her which is intrigued by it. After their friends left their dinner party, Lucy and Owen casually discuss about the matter once again and ultimately they've come to an agreement of trying it out for six months. They named this short marital experience as 'The Arrangement' with some ground rules; which is no snooping, no leaving and no falling in love. They think a break from monogamy now could give them a moment to refresh their marriage life and come back as a happier and a more loving partner. But what follows is a series of events which they've never anticipated, and towards the end they'll have to ask themselves if 'The Arrangement' benefits their relationship or is it simply "the grass is always greener on the other side"? 

At times entertaining and at times thought-provoking, The Arrangement was an addictive read about a couple's bizarre experience to revitalise their marriage and ended up learning a few lessons along the way. As much as I found the open marriage issue appalling, I think there are some parts like middle-aged and dealing with challenging children is both relatable and spot-on. While I don't agree with 'The Arrangement' plan, I held on to the story because it was entertaining (I've never read anything like this before), hilarious (the dialogues and some events could be funny at times) and most of all, I wanted to know what happened to Lucy and Owen and hoped that they'd walk out from that experience to be wiser and more understanding towards their other half. Aside from Lucy and Owen, there are also a few characters that made this story interesting with their own stories and yes, they're somewhat connected to Lucy and Owen in some ways. Overall it was an entertaining read though I can't fathom why Lucy and Owen would think 'The Arrangement' is a good idea initially. 

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8 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    This one sounds weird. If it was done right, and it sounds like maybe it was, it could be good.

  2. jenclair Says:

    Oh, my--they make their own cheese!

    I think the part about how stressful life with an autistic child might be would be interesting. We lived next door to a family with a severely autistic child for several years, and the stress was not simply dealing with the every day (which they did beautifully), but the worry about when he got older.

  3. Lark Says:

    So not the book for me! ;D

  4. Iliana Says:

    This one sounds kind of crazy but at the same time you kind of want to know what happens to this couple!

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I think this is more of a women's fiction than anything. I thought something sinister might happen but it didn't.

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, I can imagine how challenging that can be with an autistic child. I'm also concerned that what would happen to them if their parents get old and no longer around (or no siblings). :(

  7. Melody Says:

    Lark - Totally understandable. This is not a book which will fit all readers. ;)

  8. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yeah it seems that way, isn't it? It's like watching a train wreck and we can't look away with the shock and everything. That said, I thought it's kinda thought-provoking and offer some insights on marriage and relationship.

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