This may be the only Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham book I’ve read where I was not completely annoyed at the main character(s) throughout the entire story. It also may be the fastest I have read a book in a very long time — under 7 hours.
Sleeping Arrangements is one of those way-too-coincidental stories, but a cute one nonetheless: Chloe and her family are taking a vacation (or “going on holiday”, as those silly Brits say) to a friend’s villa in Spain. Hugh and family are also taking a vacation to a friend’s villa in Spain. Yes, clever reader, it just so happens to be the exact same villa at the exact same time. The twist? Chloe and Hugh are ex-lovers, the ones that got away. The other twist, made obvious almost immediately even though I think it was supposed to be a big surprise? Hugh works for the company that has just acquired Chloe’s partner’s company, an event that has caused much misery in everyone’s life as of the time of the vacation.
So, Chloe and Hugh are not extremely happy in their current relationships due to many factors. Upon seeing each other at the villa in question they do not tell their current spouses/children that they are actually quite familiar with one of these “strangers” who seems to be ruining their vacation. (The fact that their spouses and children never pick up on this connection anyway is somewhat baffling, but I suppose it works for the story.)
As it is my tendency to not give away TOO much plot detail, I will only say that Chloe’s and Hugh’s, mostly Hugh’s, behavior toward one another in the presence of their respective families annoyed me a great deal. Several years ago I may have read this book and thought, “Oh they would be hot together, they should just go for it!” but now I think “Um, no, you are married, you have children, that is not an option, stop acting like buffoons”. (Does this mean I am getting old?) Also, leave it to British people to not enjoy a gorgeous vacation AT A VILLA. IN. SPAIN.
Judging by how quickly I read this book I think I liked it just fine — it was exactly what I needed after She’s Come Undone — so I do recommend it. Next up: venturing back to the Young Adult section with Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.