Title: Sleeping Arrangements
Author: Madeleine Wickham (Sophie Kinsella)
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 realises 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...
This has been in my phone for a while and it's just yesterday when I got the motivation to finally read it. I've seen this in the bookstore last year and I regretted just reading it yesterday. I should have prioritized this one.
Wow!So far, this is the closest-to-reality book I're read this year. It was carefully and thoroughly written and it depicts the present state of relationships inside families, what temptations lay ahead of them, how they cope up with their problems and their weaknesses, how they prioritize their families over their own selves, how they sacrifice their lifetime of happiness over their families and how they deal with their future together.
At first, I was a bit skeptical of how the story would end. How will Hugh and Chloe solve their crisis? If they were going to end up together, how can Wickham write an appropriate scenario so it wouldn't look too immoral? There was a part of of me that wanted them back together. That would make it more romantic. But then, as the book neared its end, I realized how good Phillip and Amanda were. They may not be perfect but still, they are faithful to their wife and husband and they did their duties well. In the end, the latter won and that is how I also wanted it to end. If I put my feet in Chloe's shoes, I'd chose Phillip too. He had sacrificed so much for their family. He had accepted Sam and considered him his own flesh and blood. He loves Chloe and accepted her for who she is. He deserves Chloe's love.
Hugh learned his lesson the hard way. He was too absorbed in succeeding that he forgot that he has a family. Even though Amanda is stiff and controlling, she still deserves Hugh's love too. She has sacrificed her career and everything she enjoys just so she can perform her duties as a mother. She had been a hands-on mom. Part of the problem between them is that they don't have a proper communication. In every decision that involves their family, they should be able to talk things out so they can share their opinions.
I know that this book doesn't have a good rating. In Gooreads, it has an average rating of 3.01 stars. But I gave it 5 stars. It's a great story and I think there's no better way to end the story than how Wickham ended it. Chloe and Hugh may still love each other but there are many people involved already. It was a good decision. They may be soulmates but they are not destined to be together.
Quotes from the Book:
"Hugh, you're being ludicrous. It's been fifteen years, we're both with other people..."
"So what? We can play safe, or we can take the biggest risk of our lives and end up with the...most perfect, wonderful happiness."
"People always have more interesting lives than you'd think. Every family has something crazy going on in it. A secret, or a feud, or some huge problem..."
"I'll never stop wondering, you know. What could have been. If we'd stayed together, all those years ago. We might have come here to this villa, as husband and wife. With Sam. I might have had Sam as my son."
"We might have had six children together."
"Six! I'm not sure about that."
"The worst things is... The worst thing is, we probably would have become discontented. After a few years. We probably would have lain here in the sun, feeling a little bored, wondering if we did the right thing in marrying each other. Not realizing how bloody lucky we were..."
"It's late. We should get some rest."
"We make so many decisions over a lifetime. Some turn out to be unimportant...and some turn out to be the key to everything. If only we knew their significance at the time. If only we knew what we were throwing away."
Labels: Book Review, Madeleine Wickham, Sophie Kinsella