Owen and Lucy gave up their life in New York City to raise their son in the upscale community of Beekman. Their once hip and exciting life has been reduced to dividing household chores and wrangling their Autistic son. One night some friends of theirs were out for a dinner party and were chatting about some friends of theirs. They have a blissfully happy marriage, but they also have an "arrangement". They have an open marriage. Lucy and Owen are both intrigued by the idea and after much discussion, they agree to try an "arrangement" for six months. Like an Amish Rumspringa. They get six months to do what (or who) they want and at the end of the six months they go back to monogamy as if it had never happened. There are some ground rules, of course - like it can't be with anybody they both know, and they never involve their son. It seems ideal to both of them. but before the six months are up they both end up breaking the rules. Will Owen and Lucy's marriage be able to survive The Arrangement?
I really liked both Owen and Lucy - I thought they were playing with fire for even entertaining the thought of an open marriage, but what they did in their marriage was their business. I think they were overwhelmed with parenting a special needs child and were excited at a reprieve - even if it came in the form of other people. Owen ended up hooking up with a crazy woman and Lucy ended up breaking a big rule with Ben. The Arrangement doesn't only investigate Lucy and Owen's marriage, but several marriages in their little community. Like the billionaire and his much younger wife. Or the transgender kindergarten teacher and her wife. The common theme with all of these couples is that not every marriage is perfect and every couple handles stressors in their marriage differently. I was almost finished with the book before I came to that realization, but the more I think about it, the more I understand the author's message. And it is pretty fantastic when you think about it. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the way author got Owen out of his "crazy lady" situation - it was very abrupt - but other than that I loved everything about The Arrangement.
Bottom line - While I would never consent to an open marriage it was quite interesting to read about a seemingly normal couple and their experiment with open marriage. The somewhat taboo topic alone makes it a fun read and would be one to discuss with your girlfriends over a glass (or three) of wine.