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?”
Almost immediately, my eyes glazed over at the image of the “bucolic life” of these characters, but I wanted to know what they would do with the experiment.
It didn’t take long to realize that there would be consequences. Would they be able to move beyond The Arrangement?
I felt a connection to both Lucy and Owen. There were no “bad guys” here, just vulnerable ones hoping to find something that would strengthen their marriage.
Yes, they believed that their little experiment would make them stronger. But they were not prepared for the unexpected.
How did Owen deal with an out-of-control lover named Izzy? What will Lucy do about unexpectedly falling in love with Ben?
In addition to our two main characters, there were others within the community who would learn more about themselves and travel down unique pathways.
I was hooked by the story, remembering how I came from an era of experimentation and learning more about ourselves through these “out there” times. I would award this book 4.5 stars.