The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn


My Review:

Suburban young couple, Lucy and Owen are looking to feel energized and happy in their relationship, to bring back the butterflies, so their exciting but not so well thought out solution was The Arrangement.  An open marriage for six months.  Break all the rules. Do what you want. With whomever you want. No discussing anything with each other.  They wrote out a handful of rules and agreed to follow them.  This could be just what they need, right?

The freedom is refreshing.  No trapped feeling.  A reason to get dolled up.  A feeling of less responsibility.  So Owen gets caught up with Izzy, a crazy woman who’s husband cheated on her.  She regularly seduces him and then asks him to do annoying chores around her house and although the sex is good, he starts to wish he never agreed to get involved with her or the Arrangement.  On the other hand, Lucy finds Ben, a nice guy who she schedules a weekly rendezvous with and starts to develop feelings for.  Thinking of Ben when she is not with him is nice, positive, and happy…the feeling of falling for someone. Then when she can’t make it to see him one day she has this burning desire to talk on the phone and realizes this may not just be a sexual fling.  With a child in the mix and the lies told to cover up what was agreed to be kept secret, Lucy and Owen’s relationship complications multiply, and here you have the experiment called The Arrangement!

Sarah Dunn gives us an extremely humorous and well written tale of a typical young couple in the suburbs trying to reignite the lost passion with an unconventional Arrangement… a little sexy, a little daring, a little disastrous and a hilarious and accurate depiction of marriage, family and community.   So enjoyable and quick – you should not miss it!

As seen in Goodreaads:

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?”


Sarah Dunn (born 1970) is an American author and television writer. She is known for her novels ‘The Big Love’ and ‘Secrets to Happiness’, and the ABC sitcom American Housewife, starring Katy Mixon.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Dunn spent several years working service jobs in Philadelphia, PA, the experience of which informed her first book, ‘The Official Slacker Handbook’. Shortly afterward, she moved to Los Angeles, CA, where she wrote for television series including Murphy Brown, Veronica’s Closet, Spin City, and Bunheads. With Spin City co-creator Bill Lawrence, Dunn penned Michael J. Fox‘s final episode of the series.

Dunn is also a novelist whose works include The Big Love (2005), Secrets to Happiness  (2009), and The Arrangement (2017). Her books have been translated into 19 different languages.

Dunn is a member of the all-female television writer group “The Ladies Room”, which also includes Vanessa McCarthy, Stephanie Birkitt, and Julie Bean. The group was founded in July 2016.  Dunn is married to former New York Observer executive editor Peter Stevenson. They married in 2007.

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.