The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn (Book Review #289)

The Arrangement is a contemporary fictional story about Lucy and Owen. A dinner invitation to a friend’s house, who happens to have an open marriage, instigates a thought in the couple’s mind. What if they too relinquish all commitments to each other and trial it out.

The arrangement becomes a set of rules where they aren’t supposed to talk to each other about the affair and that they aren’t to fall in love with the person. Owen jumps to the gun the moment they agree to this where with Lucy, it takes a while for her to find someone. Owen’s new partner is a crazy woman where Lucy finds a real charmer.

What then transpires between them and the four-way relationship sums up the story. The couple also share an autistic child, and they have many mutual friends that act as a filler in the whole plot of the game.

The first thing I thought when I picked this book up was to have a clear mind and not to judge it based on my own personal view on marriage. This was hard for me but I somehow, through all the ups and downs of the story, managed to look at the novel in the perspective of the characters. The concept of having the ability to have an affair with multiple people was not far out of reach when the lead characters only picked one person to go with on a continuous basis. That did not make sense to me.

The literature and style of writing were incredibly new for me. In my opinion, it appeared that all rules had gone out of the window and the author had begun her own set of sentence structures and guidelines in any grammatical way. I found so many incomplete sentences and issues with the content that it kept disrupting the flow of the reading.

There were many sideline stories embedded with the lead characters that I found unnecessary. If the author had decided to conclude them in the ending, then that would have made sense but to just add sideline plots as fillers, and to add page numbers, was disappointing.

I enjoyed the subtle humor in the book. On occasions, the author would really describe events and occurrences in such a delightful way that you would feel as if you were watching it, instead of reading it. I thoroughly relished the autistic boy and how he challenged Lucy. As a mother, I thought that it made the story very relatable and made the reader bond with Lucy on a personal level.

The ending was not very clear and did leave questions behind. There was no secure closure or lesson to be learned. I believe anyone that is looking for a light reading with no particular purpose would enjoy this book.

Written by Jeyran Main

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