Gently seductive, moving and often humorous, Making Arrangements proves an extraordinarily beguiling fictional debut for Robinson. With a theme that naturally leans towards the maudlin, it's richly layered and purposefully paced. There are laugh out loud moments, and then quiet moments when we're touched by the enormity of events in Lang's life. On this level, there's a duality to Robinson's story as she confidently explores difficult emotions and life decisions, but it's in moments of levity that her novel really connects and illuminates her characters. With a deft narrative and melodious dialogue, she brings them to life. They're polished, intelligent and well-pitched without feeling overly intrusive, and in this way Robinson gets to the crux of Jack's secret and the legacy of his death. Drawing her readers in with a plot that is both well-conceived and intriguing, she not only delivers a beautifully crafted story, but one which encourages more than just passing reflection along the way. Robinson touches on notes of longing, middle-aged foibles and the realisation that it's often the unexpected things that are beyond our control that bring us the moments of greatest clarity.
An altogether absorbing read and a highly notable fiction debut, Making Arrangements is likely to have broad appeal and is recommended without reservation.
If you are looking for a mixture of heartbreak and humor, delve into Ferris Robinson's Making Arrangements, a beautifully written family drama sprinkled with scenes of hilarity. Every character is fully developed, and by the end of the book I knew I was going to miss these newfound friends the author had created. The main character, Lang, is battling cancer and has written letters to her husband to be read on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries after her death, but nothing works out as she had planned. She unearths secrets, battles and betrayals, and wonders if she can ever find forgiveness. When I came to the end of the book I found myself in tears, hurting and rejoicing at the same time.
Alice Smith, author of Rhythm of Stillness and A Place Where Secret Shadows ShineAuthor Robinson knows how to make things complicated, and in this case, that's a good thing. The main character, Lang, is having trouble coming to terms with her impending demise when something even worse happens. A series of messy complications follows one right after the other. Will she work herself out of the quagmire of health, financial, and family problems? And what will happen to her sweet grand daughter? Robinson kept me guessing, and I could not put this one down.
Janie Dempsey Watts, author of Moon Over Taylor's Ridge and Return to Taylor's Crossing
Making Arrangements has made a lasting impression on me, and I'm enjoying thinking about it. The author conceived such great characters -- characters we all know but haven't defined as humorously and thoughtfully as Robinson did -- the tacky, striving (yet loving) friend, the grasping and greedy child, the philandering husband, and best of all -- the emerging woman, confident in her own identity. Too, I loved the kind man who has learned to appreciate a good woman. I can see a screenplay or script for a play being made of the story. I can see it enacted now!
Anne Rittenberry, 2016 Signal Mountain Community Guild Woman of the Year
About the Author
Ferris Robinson lives in a beautiful part of East Tennessee with her husband and two dogs. The mother of three grown sons, she delights in the fact that her dogs obey her - more or less. A former columnist for the Chattanooga Free Press, she is now the editor of the Lookout Mountain Mirror and the Signal Mountain Mirror. Her work has been published numerous times in The Christian Science Monitor and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She is a columnist at chattanoogan.com. The author of several cookbooks, including Never Trust a Hungry Cook, which she wrote in college, Simplify Supper and the Gorgeless Gourmet's Cookbook, Ferris was featured on the cover of Woman's World magazine. Promoting her easy but healthy recipes, she made numerous television appearances and sold 10,000 copies of the Gorgeless Gourmet's Cookbook, pre-Internet. Subscribers from every state subscribed to her newsletter, The Gorgeless Gourmet's Newsletter. She also wrote Dogs and Love - Sixteen Stories of Fidelity, and Authentic Log Homes, featuring hand-hewn log homes. "Making Arrangements" is her first novel.