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Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham

Sleeping Arrangements (edition 2004)

by Madeleine Wickham

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5772217,144 (3.03)12
Title:Sleeping Arrangements
Authors:Madeleine Wickham
Info:BLACK SWAN (TWLD) (2004), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 303 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:disappointing-books, chick-lit, read-in-2012, infidelity

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Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham



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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I absolutely love Sophie Kinsella and this is the first book I've tried of her chick-lit line featuring less romance and more grounded issues—through her real name, Madeleine Wickham. Sleeping Arrangements is light, refreshing, and has a bit of a implausible—but still charmingly British—storyline; I enjoyed it immensely, but don't think it's something from which I took much away.

The hidden past surrounding Chloe and Hugh is slowly unraveled through flashbacks. From their first encounter at Gerard's villa, there's an explosive recognition—boom. From there on, readers slowly learn what exactly it is that's between them, and how exactly they'll react. Without giving too much away, I will say the plot itself was highly extractable and far-fetched, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Wickham's characters aren't particularly deep. For the most part, they're static and unrelateable, but she pens them with such grace and endearment, that I can't help but like them all. Even the ones that are portrayed negatively, such as Hugh's ridiculously anal wife, Amanda, are pleasing and entertaining to follow.

The highlight of this novel would definitely be its execution. The plot and characters themselves are mediocre and unremarkable, but the writing flows easily, and Wickham's style is smooth, often subtly hilarious, and blithe. I breezed through this novel; Sleeping Arrangements is a quick, lighthearted story set to the backdrop of a gorgeous Spanish town; a great read for a sunny day!

Pros: Charmingly clever // Witty and perceptive // Linear storyline // Light, breezy read // Masterful, yet brief description of Spanish countryside

Cons: Shallow, two-dimensional characters // Nothing deep or profound // Unmemorable

Verdict: Cute and fluffy, Sleeping Arrangements isn't particularly complex or profound, but it's a damn entertaining read. The characters are fun to get to know and the story unravels by itself; this is effortless, feel-good chick-lit with stormy twists and turns and a penchant for family values. Madeleine Wickham weaves a funny, breezy, and tender story with her usual British magnetism and sprightliness of touch.

Rating: 8 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): An engaging read; highly recommended.

Source: Complimentary copy provided by TripFiction in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!). ( )
  stephanieloves | May 29, 2013 |
I should start by saying that I am normally a huge fan of any book written under Madeleine Wickham's nom de plume of Sophie Kinsella. That's probably why I felt that this book was such a disappointment. I went into it expecting wit and charm, but I found myself feeling completely let down and unenthusiastic about finishing the book.

My first issue is that characters. There are very few books out there where you look at all of the characters and just think that they are all horrible. I've read books with sociopaths and serial killers that had more decency than these characters. They all seem to be lacking perspective and none seems to truly realize just how good their lives are. They find excuses for their behavior, whether it's rage over a lost lover or depression over being kicked to the curb by your employer. It almost seems like when toddlers end up in a massive pinching session and blame it on another kid because the other person started it. I just wanted to scream at them for their petty attitudes and bickering.

Other than the annoying characters, the book was extremely boring. There was very little flow to the story. There was nothing fun or enlightening. The book was just kind of a "what I did on my summer vacation" essay from elementary school that was stretched out over 300+ pages. I think an elementary school student would have probably come up with something a bit more compelling, though.

There were some parts that I did like about this book, but the bad completely outweighed the good. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I know, unless I really and truly thought that they deserved to be bored out of their mind. ( )
  janersm | Nov 3, 2012 |
This was a beach read while on vacation and a typical Wickham novel- fun, fast, and just a little sordid. Just like a sitcom, everything comes out in the end.

Food: This is a bottle of Boone's Summer Hill wine. We used to drink it in college when we didn't have much money and hadn't learned how to appreciate wine yet. It's sweet, colorful, "adult", and gone before you know it, leaving a pleasant aftertaste in your mouth. ( )
  amaryann21 | Jun 27, 2012 |
I am torn with this book. On one hand, I enjoyed it because it was a Madeleine Wickham; on the other, it was definitely not as good as her others. If you enjoy her books you should read it, but this one is not the one to get you hooked on the rest. ( )
  ceh0017 | Nov 12, 2011 |
A book by the author of the Shopaholic series, under her real name, I believe.

Wasn't quite sure what to expect of this -- two families, each desperately needing to get away for a vacation, end up bunged together in the same holiday villa which the same friend had "accidentally" lent to each family for the same week. Two very different families, under very different stresses, plus the fact that two of them have unfinished business from a romance in the past. Lots of pink che...moreA book by the author of the Shopaholic series, under her real name, I believe.

Wasn't quite sure what to expect of this -- two families, each desperately needing to get away for a vacation, end up bunged together in the same holiday villa which the same friend had "accidentally" lent to each family for the same week. Two very different families, under very different stresses, plus the fact that two of them have unfinished business from a romance in the past. Lots of pink cheeks indicating hanky panky being just finished or interrupted, and a lot of conscious-checking. In the end it was satisfying, as the easy outs didn't happen, but the more real life, hard working ones did. I hope that's not a spoiler.

Would have liked a little more of Spain and a little less poolside whinging. ( )
  bookczuk | Mar 31, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312383428, Hardcover)

     Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses, her partner Philip has troubles at work, and 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 realize the awful truth--Gerard has double-booked. What no one else realizes 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...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:00 -0400)

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Thanks to a mutual friends's invitation, two families meet in a luxury villa in Spain and discover their room is overbooked, igniting old passions and tensions.

(summary from another edition)

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