Friday, August 8, 2014

Sleeping Arrangement by Madeleine Wickham

Synopsis :

Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses, her partner Philip has troubles at work, the whole family wants a break. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain - perfect.

Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife Amanda seems more interested in her new kitchen than in him, and he works so hard to pay for it, he barely has time for his children. Maybe he'll have a chance to bond with them on holiday. His old friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain - perfect.

Both families arrive at the villa and realise the awful truth - Gerard has double-booked. What no-one else realise is that Chloe and Hugh have a history, and as tensions rise within the two families, old passions resurface. It seems that Gerard's 'accidental' double booking may not be an accident after all.  Soon, an unexpected romance begins to seriously heat up this holiday, and it isn't long before long-buried secrets and fiery passions erupt.

Although I enjoy what Sophie Kinsella writes, I didn't enjoy it when I read when she wrote Gatecrasher as Madeleine Wickham.  But here I am, once again, with another title by Madeleine Wickham but this time round, I like it better.

Sleeping Arrangement is more sombre with a more serious message.  Although the setting is quite unique in that it happens in a Spainish villa with two family arriving at the same time to enjoy what each family thought as their exclusive holiday home turns out to be not so because the owner also lent it to the other family.  Somehow I doubt double booking of holiday venues happens in real life.  However, in the context of this story, it is rather cute.

So why do I like Sleeping Arrangement?  While the plot is not one of the best in the world, it is not too bad and quite acceptable.  The writing has hints of humor and the author managed to make the characters quite interesting and intriguing. I can't say I can stand the characters as they are rather weak but I think they make what they can with what was thrown at them.

All in all, Sleeping Arrangement does make me want to try out other titles by Madeleine Wickham which Gatecrasher failed to do.

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