The Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn, was on the top of my TBR list, so, when the library alerted me to the fact that this title was available for me to pick up, I dropped all my scheduled reading and ran like a psycho walked calming into the library, remaining completely serene to pick up this book. I am so glad that I did; this book was downright addicting.
The novel opens with a married couple, Lucy and Owen, having a dinner party with some of their friends. These friends are talking about a scandal in their group of friends; a couple revealed they are having an open marriage. Following suit, their friends are going to give it a true. Initially, Lucy balks at the idea but what starts as a joke between Lucy and Owen turns into a true experiment, as they agree, that for six months, they will adhere to some guidelines and experience an open marriage. As each begins their own affairs, they must decide what makes them truly happy and, in the end, if they will choose their original happily ever after or follow their experiment.
To start, the concept of this one was completely different. Open marriage is such an interesting, and “hush hush” topic, so, the premise intrigued me right away. I continuously was asking myself how this would unfold on the pages. Sarah Dunn is able to weave an intricate storyline with hilarious subplots and smart dialogue. This novel had a number of laugh out loud moments and I found myself connected to both Lucy and Owen throughout my reading. I found both characters to be extremely relatable and loved reading about their marital issues and their encounters. I was truly rooting for them.
Although I loved the general storyline and found myself devouring the pages (I read over 100 on the elliptical one night!), I did find a number of things problematic in this text.
The first issue that I found was the narration. Lucy and Owen narrated the novel, in alternating chapters. However, every so often, truly without any rhyme or reason, there would be a randomly narrated chapter by an irrelevant character. I don’t really understand what the point of this was. This leads to my next issue. The sheer amount of characters introduced randomly made some of this novel quite confusing, I had to go back and reread some sections and try and figure out this suburban dynamic.
Overall, this was a fun read. I think it would be an awesome long weekend read or something to throw into your beach bag. Fans of Liane Moriarty would be into this one I think! 4/5 stars.