“Sleeping Arrangements” by Madeleine Wickham


Yet another wonderful book by the beloved Madeleine Wickham (Sophie Kinsella.) One of my good friends bought this for me for Christmas, and after reading The Gatecrasher only a few weeks earlier, I was very excited to dive in and start reading. I was, as usual, not disappointed.

Sleeping Arrangements centers around two very different families, brought together by an unusual situation. Hugh and Amanda are a high-strung couple, who strain to keep up a happy exterior, although neither are very content with their loveless marraige. Hugh is a successful high-level executive, and his high-maintenance housewife Amanda wants nothing more than to escape the life of the everyday to a beautiful villa in the French countryside for a weekend of pampering, and “me-time.”
Chloe and Phillip, however, have never married, and have never felt the pressure to. The free-spirited Chloe does not care about the ways of the world, and hopes that the vacation will give Phillip some time to de-stress and take his mind off his impending unemployment, in hopes that it will save their relationship.

But when the couples arrive at their villa, they’re surprised to discover it has been double-booked. And it is even more of a shock when Hugh and Chloe see each other for the first time; they were lovers fifteen years ago, until Hugh broke Chloe’s heart and hadn’t heard from her since.

As the summer heat rises, so does the tension between Chloe and Hugh as they wonder what could have been, had they never had their big falling out so long ago. The two are forced to determine if leaving their not so perfect families is worth it for a chance to change the past.

The juxtaposition of different personalities and contrasting storylines keeps the novel interesting and more than just a sappy tale of long lost loves reunited. The story is entertaining, funny, and oh-so-relatable. So who will it be in the end? Hugh and Amanda? Chloe and Hugh? The ending might just surprise you…