Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sleeping Arrangements

Sleeping Arrangements

by Madeleine Wickham

Paperback, 320 pages
Published on: June 9th 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2001)
ISBN: 0312565763 

Sleeping Arrangements
 Blurb:  Chloe needs a holiday. Her partner, Philip, has troubles at work, and the whole family wants a break. 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…
When the two families arrive at a villa in Spain for their respective vacations, they all get a shock—it has been double-booked. An uneasy week of sharing begins, and tensions mount in the soaring heat. But the temperature isn’t solely to blame: What no one else realizes is that Chloe and Hugh have a history—and that the “accidental” overlap might not have been so accidental after all…

For those who don't know, this is Sophie Kinsella writing under her real name. Being a huge fan of Sophie's stand-alone books, I decided to check out her Madeleine Wickham books as well.
Chloe and her blended family need a holiday. Her partner Phillip is having trouble at work. She's sick of making wedding dresses for stressed out brides and could use a change of scenery. Amanda and Hugh are going through a rough patch in their marriage and need a holiday too. Hugh is obsessed with work and spends so little time with his family that his children barely even know him and Amanda is currently stressing the redecoration of their home.
When both families receive an invitation to their friend Gerard’s villa, they each look forward to a restful week in Spain. What they find out when they arrive is that Gerard has accidentally double booked his villa and they end up having to share it as every hotel in the area is fully booked.
But there is this big unfortunate thing, Chloe and Hugh had been a couple at some point in their and now they stand before each other fighting the demons of the past.
This was a quick and light fluffy read that I got through quickly. The book has got a typically clichéd plot. I tried my best to love it as I love the Kinsella books but couldn’t. It is not that I didn’t like it, I did. But I didn’t really die to know what happened next. However, the story was solid and the characters believable in that they had flaws and seemed real.
The Madeleine Wickham books are not even half as good as good as her Sophie Kinsella books. It seems as if two different persons are writing them. It did not grab me and have me rolling with laughter like her Shophie Kinsella books.
There were certain unrealistic and stupid things in the book that were hard to digest. The Nanny that one couple brought with them seduces a 16-year-old boy. His parents don't care. They smoke pot together. His parents don't care.
Hugh is after Chloe even after knowing they have their children and partners. And apparently Chloe is not interested at all. Wickham should note that life's not just drinking a billion types of wine and seducing other people's wives. It’s a lot beyond that. And people, usually, cannot get that lucky that they get to sleep with their oh-so-old-so-missed love so easily and then get away with it without losing a strand of their hair.
I read a lot of Women's Fiction but when I read this one I felt that I hated, loathed chick lit. For a moment, I thought I was really done with it. I do not deny Wickham’s marvellous storytelling skills but at times, some things really need to be pulled in place.
I’d say that if you like Kinsella, stay away from this one. You might lose some respect for her.

Review originally published on:  http://vaultofbooks.com/b/review-sleeping-arrangements
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