The Arrangement

The Waldmans' hot tub parties were the most scandalous thing to ever happen in Beekman, N.Y., an idyllic Hudson River town, as Lucy has learned via "the communal mommy-memory of the town, passed down from woman to woman on park benches." So when she and her husband, Owen, decide, on a slightly drunken whim, that their relationship needs some variety, they decree that the first rule is their experiment must remain a secret. They also decide their marriage will be open for only six months, they can't sext in the house, there will be no snooping into each other's affairs--and no falling in love.

At first, the arrangement seems perfect--bringing new liveliness to both Owen and Lucy, and making the mundanity of their suburban life with their son, Wyatt (who has autism), seem more exciting. But can such a pact ever work in the long run? Or will the rules (and their hearts) get broken?

Sarah Dunn (The Big Love; Secrets to Happiness) has perfectly captured middle-aged marriage, with its mix of the boring quotidian and moments of deep happiness. The new relationships that Lucy and Owen embark on shed light on their own marriage and those of their neighbors. Readers will be laughing helplessly as circumstances grow ever more fraught, but will also muse about what makes a truly happy marriage possible. Fans of Kristan Higgins and Meg Wolitzer are sure to love The Arrangement. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

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