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The Arrangement: A Novel Hardcover – March 21, 2017
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"Daring and darkly funny, Sarah Dunn's THE ARRANGEMENT is this summer's must-read. Her take on middle-age and family life is wry, poignant and spot-on. Readers will recognize themselves and their friends in this wonderfully comic novel."―Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City
"A hilarious, spot-on comedy of the heart about middle-aged marriage and what happens when it goes off the rails."―Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette
"Sarah Dunn's novels are literary flume rides. You're in a world you think you know, with a couple you swear you know, and in an instant, the world is turned upside down. You hold on because the story is entertaining, hilarious, and addictive. But, Ms. Dunn also writes complicated human beings who struggle, make mistakes, and are redeemed. THE ARRANGEMENT is a novel you'll share with your friends. You'll talk about it. You'll return to it. It's one of those. A keeper."―Adriana Trigiani, author of All the Stars in the Heavens
"THE ARRANGEMENT is a comic masterpiece that exposes the unbearable paradoxes of love."―Delia Ephron, author of Siracusa
"Sarah Dunn has written an irresistibly JUICY novel about a couple who try an unconventional experiment in an attempt to revitalize their marriage. This story, addictive from the very first pages, becomes not only more tantalizing as it unfolds but also more thought-provoking. The Arrangement will both shock and delight you."―Elin Hilderbrand, author of Here's to Us
"If you've been wondering what an experiment in open marriage might be like, try Sarah Dunn's deliciously inventive novel"―Elle
"Dunn writes a genuinely surprising read that is worth checking out."―RT Book Reviews
"Dunn's peek inside a seemingly normal relationship exposes the deepest thoughts of a husband, wife, and the people they decide to include in their experiment. Lucy and Owen are relatable, realistic, and resilient, and Dunn's television-writing background is evident in her witty dialogue. She grounds her novel in the minutia of suburban life, contrasting the heady days of new romance with school drop-offs and soccer games. Fans of Matthew Norman, Greg Olear, and Meg Wolitzer will adore this engaging and exhilarating exposé."―Booklist
As hilarious as it is sensitive. From raising chickens to children, copping your own kid's ADD medication to cancer, Dunn expertly reveals the intricacies that make up a marriage. Her characters are sure to strike a chord with readers, as they struggle to define themselves and their roles as spouses. Dunn makes her mark in women's fiction with this multilayered novel that takes readers from funny to serious in a story full of truths, lies, and everything in between.―Library Journal
"Dunn (The Big Love) again plumbs the messiness and fallibility of romantic relationships....with hilarious results."―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Sarah Dunn has worked as a senior writer for Murphy Brown and the executive story editor for Spin City. She was a co-producer for Veronica's Closet before leaving TV to write her first novel, The Big Love, which has been translated into 23 languages. She lives in New York City.
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Remember, there are some serious rules and they must adhere to them. No getting out, no bending. What happens next is quite hilarious. Sort of what you would expect but maybe your mind hasn’t gone there. There are some really terrific characters and sideline offerings that make it even more interesting. The main event that is going on is enough to keep your attention rapt, but I have to say that Sunny Bang, our female protagonist’s best friend, is quite possibly my favorite in the book. She has an opinion about everything and she says what she thinks. She kept me laughing throughout.
Just because you lay down some rules, do not expect that you can stick to them. Maybe there are more of these sort of relationships happening than we know. I chalked it up to a thing of the swinging 60s and days gone by when people were less uptight and the divorce rate wasn’t as high. But this is a novel where everyone is free to be with as many people outside of their marriage as they want.
The moral of the story…the grass is always greener.
The subject matter? Very interesting..... Don't ask, don't tell!
I enjoyed the movie references and the timely political views, whether it was Gordon's republican nonsense or the firing of the male/female character.
I come in contact with children on tw spectrum so it was interesting to read this aspect of the story.
It was a good, quick read and I'll check out other books by Sarah Dunn.
Overall, I really liked The Arrangement. It was definitely a premise that I’ve seen on Lifetime, and we know this story never ends well for our protagonists! This story was no exception, and there were definitely bumps in the road, however I did like the ending of the story.
One thing that was unique about the book was the fact that the chapters alternated perspectives through not just Owen and Lucy, but also from a number of other characters detailing their own marital problems as well. I definitely liked Lucy and Owen’s story the most and honestly, it felt a little random that all of a sudden we’d have some random character in the middle of Lucy and Owen’s story. While it was interesting to see from the other characters as well that just because a relationship looks great on the outside doesn’t mean it actually is, it felt unnecessary and didn’t add a whole lot to the plot in my opinion.
The two other things that bothered me a little bit were the fact that there were a number of sexist comments in the book, and that there was some hate/shaming of a transgendered character. I do think that the author tried to write the characters as sexist/transphobic and that she herself doesn’t actually hold these beliefs, I feel like it didn’t necessarily come off that way to me. The statements happened enough that it made me uncomfortable to read them at parts. For example, “The women in this town could take over the world, their husbands all thought as they sat on the sidelines, watching. Thank goodness they’re happy to raise our kids.” – it was comments like that one that rubbed me the wrong way, and ultimately caused me to lower my rating from a 5 star to a 4 star review.
Overall, despite my issues with some of the language, I did enjoy the book and had a really hard time putting the book down! I flew through it, and it was definitely a light read. This is a perfect beach read if you’re looking for a light romance that also outlines the struggles of a long term relationship and coming to terms with the fact that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.