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The Arrangement

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  17,306 ratings  ·  1,757 reviews
A hilarious and emotionally charged novel about a couple who embark on an open marriage-what could possibly go wrong?

Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They've got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Tit
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,306 ratings  ·  1,757 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women, fiction, romance
The arrangement was made for six months. Lucy and Owen set rules for their open marriage.
Had they taken six months discussing their rules -- evaluating them -- doing a little more research and consulting with other couples who have explored open marriage - they might have learned a few more basic fundamental useful tips.
For example... one of their rules was that they were not going to talk about their individual private affair with each other. They didn't even 'explore' their reason for the ru
Sep 16, 2017 added it
Shelves: fiction
The Hook - I’ve got to ask myself “Why am I reading this book?” If I don’t know why how are you supposed to know.

The Line - Lucy explains how children change your life
Shoes that tied were the first thing to go.“

The Sinker - A basic definition of sinker A weight of lead or other metals designed to sink a hooked bait or lure.

A couple decide to embark on an experiment to spice up their marriage. What could possibly go wrong?

Ugh-hah? You think? Hmmm…can this really work? I was determined to find ou
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I was afraid that it would be silly and predictable but I ended up really enjoying the story and the author. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a well written, light read.
“How is it that as a culture we've decided that it's completely rational to break up a nuclear family because one of the parents has sex with somebody else, even if it's only one time, or a minor fling, or whatever, but it's shameful and perverted to make some temporary accommodations inside a marriage so all parties can get their needs met while doing their primary job, which is staying together and raising their kids as an intact family unit?”...
“Yeah, but I'm not sure marriage should
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I write this review on my 18th wedding anniversary. I really loved this novel. I couldn't look away! I could never do what Owen and Lucy did by having an open marriage, but I've heard stories by some that have. I liked the passages at the beginning of each chapter that gave me pause. Parts were funny at the calamity of keeping secrets and I especially liked the character of Owen. I saw a growth in him as he came to certain realizations and the tenderness and understanding he had for his son who ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a deliciously scandalous book! This book was about a couple, Lucy and Owen, making a joint decision to try an open marriage for a period of no more than 6 months. This is what they call "the arrangement." These are the rules of the arrangement or what they cheekily refer to as the "fight club" (in reference to the movie). First. There is no fight club i.e., no talking about it. Ever. 2) Always use protection and 3) the singular, most important rule.. Never, ever fall in love.

They think the
Jennifer Blankfein
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
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Suburban young couple, Lucy and Owen are looking to feel energized and happy in their relationship, to bring back the butterflies, so their exciting but not so well thought out solution was The Arrangement. An open marriage for six months. Break all the rules. Do what you want. With whomever you want. No discussing anything with each other. They wrote out a handful of rules and agreed to follow them. This could be
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The premise of The Arrangement was intriguing, the execution so-so. I stayed intrigued but I wasn’t blown away. Didn’t love the ending but definitely didn’t hate it.

Owen and Lucy are a married couple living in the suburbs outside of New York City, with their autistic son, Wyatt. After a conversation with a couple who came over to their house for dinner one night, Owen and Lucy decide to partake in an “arrangement” - an open marriage for a set time frame of 6 months, complete with rules including
To any friends or family who wonders why I prefer being single, why I have so many reservations about being in a relationship, why I have trust issues, why I doubt a man's capability to be both physically and emotionally faithful....THIS IS THE BOOK TO BLAME.
This is what happens when you go out of your comfort zone.
So this book started really well..speaking out against slut shaming, heroine being fairly sexually experienced (slept with around 35 men before the hero) and a couple who seemed to be
Lisa Steinke
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't laughed out loud this many times while reading a book before this one. I LOVED IT. It is funny, well paced, interesting (you get snippets of back stories on everyone) and just damn good. She's a TV writer and it shows here--especially in the smart and very real dialogue. She knows how people actually talk! Plus she nails motherhood, marriage and the suburbs like no one else.

Sarah Dunn has been one of my favorite authors since I happened upon a gem of a book called BIG LOVE many years
Tracy Fenton
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Arrangement is an original and cleverly written story about Lucy and Owen who decide to have a six month "open marriage - no questions" rumspringa where they can sleep around but obviously there are rules involved. No friends, no ex's and absolutely no falling in love!

This is a frank and often painful look at being married with some very funny observations about life, love and being parents.

Full of wonderful characters including their "spectrum-y" son Wyatt who wipes poop on the walls, Sunny
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
“Rule Number One: No one can ever know…
Rule Number Two: No falling in love…"

Rules for a temporary open marriage are excitedly scratched out on a legal pad, as a promising escape from, "the middle-aged, soul-killing part of married life." What follows is riveting and raw. It's impossible to look away. Oh, and it's funny too!

Lots to think about here- about the evolving nature of relationships, communication, slowly becoming invisible to your partner, the desire to be desired, and questioning "I
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An ultra-high concept book about a couple who agrees to 6 months of an "open marriage." In and of itself, not really a storyline that appeals to me and combined with the vast amounts of hype this has received, normally I would've left this book on the shelf. BUT I am a huge fan of Sarah Dunn, from her first book Big Love, to her television show American Housewife, which is beyond clever and well-written (especially for a network comedy, where one must more closely toe the line). I'm so glad I we ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentfiction
I expected this book to be a light read, something I could read on an airplane. I did read it as I travelled from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, and finished it the day after I landed, but it wasn't as light as I expected. It's about modern (perhaps, American) expectations of marriage as a source of endless romance and sexual fulfillment. And the fact that this is a fairytale. The way the story unfolds felt possible to me, and that is why I kept reading and really loved the story. There were times ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved loved loved this. It had its moments of laugh-out-loud dialogue, especially from characters who reminded me of the gossiping moms in Big Little Lies. But it also had poignant moments of truth-telling with regard to marriage, parenthood, and growing. The author's voice was so compelling and spot on that I guzzled this read down. An addictive book which would make a fantastic TV series or movie. Would also be a great beach read. ...more
Rachel León
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a deliciously fun read! I gobbled up this novel about a couple who decides to open up their marriage for six months. It's funny, sexy, and has hints of a Tom Perrotta novel. In other words, an excellent summer read or reading slump buster. ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. LOOOOOOOOVED it. Might be my favorite read of 2017 so far. Everything about this book was pitch-perfect: the characters, the conflict, the dialogue (oh, the dialogue was SO good - there's a reason that Dunn works in television), the pacing... The pacing! I could not, literally, put it down. Read it in a day or so and didn't want it to end. I mean, just, have I mentioned how much I loved it? My next book touches on similar themes as Dunn's, and I can only hope that I do it half as well. ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2017
Entertaining and mildly amusing family drama-lite about a happily married couple who somewhat impetuously decide to give open marriage a go for a six month period. Owen and Lucy have very different experiences with their experiment and complications ensue. (Duh.) A 3.5 for me, but.....I am rounding up to a 4 since it was good, well-written escapism with a number of interesting characters and smart dialogue. I was especially taken with the portrayal of Owen and Lucy's 5 year old, son, Wyatt, who ...more
Lisa B.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lucy and Owen have dinner with another couple. The other couple mentions that they are going to have an open marriage. At first, Lucy and Owen think “no way”. But then they go home and start to think about it. Maybe if they set up some ground rules, along with a start and end date, it would be kind of interesting. What could go wrong - right?

Think what you want about the moral implications of an open marriage, I thought this book was pretty darn funny. How many times has someone carefully though
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Well.... That was a bummer.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this. The story was unbelievably stressful (in a great way). The characters are all awful people. Except Sunny Bang. She's fantastic. I want a whole book from her POV. That would have been a funny story.

Also this is supposed to be funny?!


(view spoiler)
Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We all have a strong preference that life should be easy, comfortable, and pain free, but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with life when it isn't those things. It's just life. It's just life and it's not how you would prefer it to be,but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with it."

The premise of this book immediately caught my attention, a book about a couple who decides to try having an open marriage? This is definitely a topic that we don't read about everyday.

The story foll
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
After Lucy and her husband Owen get a little drunk at a dinner with friends, they learn that their friends have opened their marriage. They claim that opening their marriage reignited the passion they had for each other that had long been lost, and that they were happier than ever. Lucy balks at the idea, but after thinking on it for a while, decides to give it a try in hopes that she’ll stop feeling so invisible. She and Owen set ground rules, and add a end date to the experiment – 6 months, no ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
4.5 *s. The Arrangement is the story of a married couple who decides to have an open marriage for 6 months, following a set of rules that they developed together. As expected, things don't quite go as planned. This book is hilarious. I read it in a day and just couldn't put it down. I don't read a lot of books that I would consider humorous, so I think it says a lot that I enjoyed it so much. Although "the arrangement" itself may seem silly, parts of this book ring true for many of us who have b ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: can-t-wait, chick-lit
The reason I chose this book was because Sarah Dunn is the creator of one of my favorite sitcoms, American Housewife, and I was curious to see if I would enjoy her book as much as I like the TV show. Unfortunately, I'm not that wild about this novel. I couldn't relate to the characters and I don't like the whole open marriage idea. It's well written but I just can't recommend it. ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. . . What a nice change from my usual. The Arrangement is smart, funny and endearing. . . I was so sad when I was near the end . . . 5 stars all the way! ...more
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know what to expect from this book. It seems a little outside of my usual fare. But I will listen to anything read by Ellen Archer, my favorite narrator. I'm never disappointed.

This is a book about a married couple who are reasonably happy but slightly bored with life at this point. They're also pretty stressed from caring for their young autistic child. They love him to pieces but he is very demanding of their time, energy, and effort. Their answer to their situation is "the arrangeme
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
So I don't know if I was simply not the target audience for this one or if the ending was simply too depressing (view spoiler)... but I did not enjoy this very much. It is riddled with clichés, seemingly erroneous character plot lines, and befuddled characters. At the halfway point I noticed the similarities to the erratic style of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernade ...more
A novel about open marriage is not one that I’d normally pick up but I’m actually quite glad that I read this one. A normal couple opens their marriage up to see if it works at making things better. It felt a little like fiction about a social experiment. What could go wrong? After 15 years of marriage myself, I understand how complicated the marriage relationship is and I can’t even begin to imagine bringing in the open marriage piece. So, in some ways, this book was interesting in that it expl ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty average.

Lucy and Owen have been married for a while. They still love each other but something is missing. One night they have dinner with friends and learn they are having an open marriage. An arrangement they call it. Lucy and Owen decide to give it a try. They come up with a list if rules and decide to try the arrangement for 6 months.

Things quickly become more complicated then either anticipated. Owen gets involved with an overly clingy women. Lucy breaks one of the rules and falls in
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read and fast paced. It kept your attention throughout the book. Although I thought Lucy and Owen came up with the rules and the plan for the arrangment a little too quickly and seemingly without much thought I still really liked the book. I thought the dynamics of the town they lived in were great as well as the school politics among parents. I especially liked how Lucy and Owen were parenting Wyatt with his special needs. I thought they were remarkable ...more
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Sarah Dunn (born 1970) is an American author and television writer. She was educated in the University of Arizona.

Coming to prominence in 1994 with her book Official Slacker Handbook, Sarah Dunn went to Hollywood, where she wrote for such series as Murphy Brown, Veronica's Closet and Spin City.

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“Life is long. And it’s getting longer for most of us. Most people in this country will have three or four marriages in their lifetime. Each one will challenge them and suit them in a different way. The lucky few, the ones who are willing to work at it, will have a handful of very different marriages, all with the same person. —” 5 likes
“(on fading passion) Sex was like the can of baking powder she kept on a high shelf in her pantry, something she didn’t need right now but that she knew she could get her hands on without too much trouble.” 1 likes
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