Book: The Arrangement
Author: Sarah Dunn
Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They've got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It's the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school's "hot lunch," dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, "chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife's version of chopping wood."
When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they've made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There's a part of her, though-the part that worries she's become too comfortable being invisible-that's intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she's known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-"real life," or the "experiment?"-Goodreads
Review: Lucy and Owen are a happily married couple in their late 30s when they learn their friends are trying an open marriage. Lucy and Owen initially laugh off the idea but soon find themselves agreeing to a 6-month trial. They agree on some ground rules: don't tell any of their friends what they are doing, don't "date" anyone in town, and keep it physical and non-emotional. Easy-peasy, what could possibly go wrong?
In the first chapter, Lucy and Owen are hosting their friend's at their house when the friends tell them about their newly open marriage. There was nothing organic about this conversation and for the life of me, I could not imagine that conversation taking place in real life, especially because they did not seem like very close friends. The conversation was necessary for the plot of the book, so let's move forward. The book immediately picked up momentum and what I initially thought would be a popcorn type read, had some very astute observations about married life. We follow Owen, Lucy as well as several people in their small town.
Overall, a very good read.
Some good quotes:
You people with your “evolved” marriages, the ones with the fifty-fifty housework and shared earning power, the ones who tell each other everything, always, and don’t believe in secrets? Does that describe your marriage? Show of hands? I have a question for you: How’s that working out for you in the bedroom?
This is a divorce you guys are looking at. This is a divorce in slow motion.
Because this was what he came home to every night: A woman wearing saggy old workout clothes that she never worked out in, that had somehow become her pajamas and the clothes she went to the grocery store in and the clothes she wore around the house all day, with her dirty hair pulled back in a ponytail and who looked like she’d just been run over by a sedan.