Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $17.00
  • Save: $3.28 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Arlington Park: A Novel has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Arlington Park: A Novel Paperback – December 26, 2007

3.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

See all 17 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$2.05 $0.01
Audio CD, Audiobook
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$13.72 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Arlington Park: A Novel
  • +
  • A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother
Total price: $32.72
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Set in a moderately posh suburb of London, acclaimed British novelist Rachel Cusk's Arlington Park is a captivating exploration of how the simple act of living can become an excruciating exercise in self-deprivation, hypocrisy, and desperation. Set over the course of a single day, the novel follows a group of young mothers who feel both anger at the husbands who seemingly imprisoned them in a world of minivans and coffee klatches, and resignation about the fates they seem destined to fulfill.

While Arlington Park may deal in toddlers and tater tots, it is certainly not another generic Mommy Lit clone. Cusk is a skilled writer, and in her hands, a dreary lunch at the mall food court is transformed into "lost property, but for people." As the day progresses, we watch as Juliet chops her hair off in a small, if meaningless act of rebellion, Amanda stifles a burning desire to scream at a neighbor's kid for ruining her white sofa, Maisie blames her parents for not loving her enough while throwing her daughter's lunchbox at the kitchen wall, and Christine stuffs chicken breasts while silently cursing her husband for spending too much time getting ready for a dinner party. In each scene, the oppressiveness is almost unbearable, prompting readers to practically beg these women to flee as far and as fast as is humanely possible.

Of course, in driving her readers to the edge of frustration and outrage, Cusk succeeds in creating a novel that penetrates deeper than most. Still, after turning the last page, you might find yourself reaching for a little Mommy Lit candy to take the edge off. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this devastating ensemble novel, Whitbread Award–winner Cusk (Saving Agnes) exposes the roiling inner lives and not-so-quiet desperation of young mothers in the well-to-do London suburb Arlington Park. The book's single day begins with an epic rainstorm that wakes part-time private-school English teacher Juliet Randall, who spent the previous evening at a wealthier neighbor's home and was told, in front of husband Benedict, "You want to be careful.... You can start to sound strident at your age." As Amanda Clapp strains to maintain her house's empty perfection, a multi-kid play date gets out of control. Maisie Carrington feels "imprisoned for life" by her frosty, upper-crust childhood, and can barely contain her violent feelings toward her own daughters. Christine Lanham, a newcomer to the class distinction her marriage has brought her, abhors the hypocrisy that surrounds her, but knows she will never leave her family. The story line coils around each woman's home until it gathers the group for a drunken dinner party, where husbands express pleasure with their privilege while fretting that something feels amiss, and children, exhausted by their mothers' alternating neglect and desperate love, sleep like the dead—leaving the women holding hot coals of their silent insights. Their plight is an old story, but Cusk makes it incisively vivid. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 63%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (December 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312426720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312426729
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Or whinge, as the British would say. These irritable housewives, who could be combined into two or even one character(s), seem to have never loved either their husbands or their kids. In love's place is a simmering rage whose source is murky. They seem to have chosen this suburban life for themselves and yet blame the rest of the family for it. Some might see feminists. I saw self-absorbed shrews.

Not nearly as enjoyable as Cusk's previous work, THE LUCKY ONES. The women in ARLINGTON PARK are lucky their husbands put up with them.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Where is Rachel Cusk's editor? Once again, she has written a book that leaves the reader exasperated. Instead of developing a story around the lives of one or two women, she instead features so many characters that they literally blur into one. I have never read a story where all the characters seem so alike; every one of these women is miserable, disillusioned, fed-up with motherhood, and disdainful of her husband. It was like one woman by 10 different names.

I don't know what Rachel Cusk is trying to say; I honestly felt bewildered by it all. It is very difficult to continue reading a book when you cannot stand a single character; these women were repulsive to me - thoughtless, insensitive, unloving. It's one thing to be drained by motherhood and domesticity; that isn't the issue. These women read as though they would have been despicable regardless; as single women, married women, mothers; it doesn't matter. They just aren't nice people.

It makes me wonder if Rachel Cusk is clinically depressed; the photo she chose for the back jacket is shockingly bad: lank greasy hair, dull facial expression. She's a talented writer - I hope she gets a really good editor.
1 Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The first chapter of Arlington Park describes the night a rainstorm came to an upper-middle class British suburb; "All night the rain fell on Arlington Park....The rain fell on the tortuous medieval streets....It fell on the hospital...It fell on multi-storey car parks...." Very nice for atmosphere but shamelessly lifted from the opening of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. The rest of the novel continues in this vein with Rachel Cusk borrowing from the ideas of other writers before her and giving them little or no credit.

Her idea, to explore the internal lives of several women on this particular day is good except the women she creates are all bitter, cold, loveless people who have it all and still complain. We first meet Juliet, a school teacher with a husband, two children, a nice house and yet she inexplicably feels she's been "murdered" by her husband. Why? He doesn't stop her from working. He pitches in with the kids. How does he murder her? We never know. Yet this angry worldview is something that Juliet feels duty-bound to pass onto her students. Other characters are even less sympathetic; Amanda is a compulsively neat housewife who tells her preschool age son to "shut up" when he asks questions and when she does give him an explanation we're told "she wanted to hammer him over the head with it". Later, when another child gets magic marker on her sofa her reaction is equally violent: "'I could kill you!' she whispered. 'I could kill you!' She threw him back down on the cushions" How on earth are we supposed to sympathize with this woman? Or other "protagonists" are equally unlikeable. Each is discontent and expects the world to bend over backwards to accomodate her.

I'm giving this book 2 stars for some nice prose here and there. When she's not lifting her phrasing from other writers Rachel Cusk crafts her prose nicely. Still this book isn't enoyable or particularly enlightening.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I recently read "The Country Life" and immediately decided it was one of the most clever, funny books I had read in a long time. I passed it on to many friends. I also went out and bought other Rachel Cusk books and looked forward to more of her wry wit, strange characters and lengthy, but satisfying writing style. What happened between "The Country Life" and this book? Although also skillfully written, this book has a leaden, morose feeling that is never offset enough by humor or hope. The plot ties together the lives of several upper middle class young mothers living in Arlington Park, England. The book opens with a torrential rain, and from there has these ladies driving around in hatchbacks, going to malls, showing off their kitchens, and fuming over stained sofas. Not stuff that puts you the edge of your seat. And that's OK. But the problem is, not only is the setting of these ladies lives mundane in this book, it is a backdrop to extremely sad and bewildered conversations and thoughts. I am not suggesting that everything needs to be funny or sunny, but this book is SO gray (from the rain to the lives of the characters) that as you go from one chapter to then next you keep hoping for the silver lining. The gray life and the poignant conversation would have made a satisfying short story or novella, but as you plod through farther into this book it becomes overbearing. Boring settings for characters + depressing narrative = gets old fast. Written well or not. I got 75% through and when it had not appeared I did something I hate doing - I stopped reading it before finishing. If you are a die hard Cusk fan, check this out, but if you are not, or if you can't relate to, or don't find suburban motherhood angst interesting, you may want to read some of her other works. Rachel Cusk is a very gifted writer. I look forward to reading more of her work, and hope to enjoy it more than this book.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Arlington Park: A Novel
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Arlington Park: A Novel