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Archive: Other Books > The Arrangement / Sarah Dunn - 4****

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message 1: by Book Concierge (last edited Sep 24, 2019 05:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5537 comments The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn
The Arrangement – Sarah Dunn
Digital audio performed by Ellen Archer

Lucy and Owen have settled in a “perfect” Hudson Valley suburb. They have a large home, an autistic son, and a flock of chickens. Lucy and the other stay-at-home moms even cook the school’s hot lunch. When friends reveal that they’ve decided to have an open marriage, Lucy is stunned. But then she’s intrigued and after talking it over she and Owen agree to a six-month, no-questions-asked experiment with very specific ground rules. But while Lucy and Owen have rules for their arrangement, their potential partners do not.

Somehow, I had the impression that this was going to be a fun, farcical comedy of manners type book. It isn’t. There are some scenes that are quite entertaining (the blessing of the animals fiasco comes to mind), but by and large this is a pretty serious look at modern marriage and the work of commitment – to your partner, to your child, to your values.

I thought it was interesting that Dunn gave the couple the added responsibility / stress of an autistic child. My sympathies changed through the book as a result of how they interacted with their son and each other.

She also peopled the novel with other interesting couples: a gay couple raising children in the suburbs (the original open marriage on which “the arrangement” is modeled); a teacher who transitions from male to female but whose spouse remains with her; a billionaire with a gold-digger wife who seemingly cares nothing for their child.

Ellen Archer did a wonderful job narrating the audiobook. Her voice for Wyatt was particularly effective … with the rapid fire, higher pitch INSISTENCE of a young child … I certainly felt the parents’ stress in dealing with this challenge.

LINK to my review

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 8156 comments I actually really loved this book. Thought it was an excellent portrait of about 8 marriages. Very well done!

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