Friday, June 4, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham

A Little Background: My love of chick lit knows no bounds! Imagine my surprise when I found out my all time fave chick lit author, Sophie Kinsella, has also published books as Madeleine Wickham. I soon found myself on a mission to devour all of Wickham’s books.
Tempers flare and worlds collide when a mutual friend offers the use of his luxury villa in Spain to two different families over the same dates. This accidental double-booking was an oversight, right? That remains to be seen.

Chloe, a designer of wedding dresses, is so overworked all she can think about is her Spanish holiday. She dreams of a stress free vaca and a chance to catch up with her life mate, Philip, and two sons. Philip has his own stresses as he is afraid he is about to be laid off at his banking job. He has promised Chloe not to think about work with they are on vacation.

All Hugh dreams of is connecting with his family especially his two little girls who are like strangers to him. He blames too much time spent in the office. He’s also beginning to think his wife Amanda thinks more of him as a paycheck that provides the finer things in life. Yes, with nanny in tow, this holiday in Spain is sure to be just what the doctor ordered.

The hottest summer on record finds Hugh and his family the first to arrive at the villa, and after settling in, find Chloe and company at their doorstep insisting they had made earlier arrangements with mutual friend Gerard. As the initial shock of their predicament wears off, both families resolve to share the villa. But will the villa be able to contain all nine diverse personalities?

As we step into the story, we discover the many layers that make Madeleine Wickham’s novels such great reads. Chloe and Hugh have a secret that neither has shared with their partners. As awkward as it seems they have a romantic past together that ended badly. Is this the joke of the century their friend Gerard has set up? As the days pass we discover that Hugh works at the financial institution that is merging with Philip’s bank and possibly leaving Philip out of a job. Perhaps this is the BIG FUNNY Gerard is chuckling over? And the summer definitely heats up for Chloe’s teen son Sam as he embarks on a little romance with nanny, Jenna. Ok, Gerard never saw this one coming!

All story lines tie up remarkably well in the end. Hooray to Wickham as all parties discover what love and being a family is all about.

My Take: I find a difference in writing style between Wickham and Kinsella. Kinsella has a decidedly lighter, breezier approach i.e. the Shopaholic series to the more grounded in reality Wickham. The book is enjoyable, fast paced, and a little wicked.

Meet the Author:

Madeleine Wickham (real name) also writes as Sophie Kinsella or perhaps you knew that already? As Wickham, she wrote her first novel The Tennis Party in 1995 at the age of 24 while working as a financial journalist. She lives in London with her family and recently welcomed the birth of Rex, son number four on April 15th. You can visit with Wickham/Kinsella on her website and via Facebook.

Sophie and young Rex

PS - Apparently writing runs in the family as Madeleine’s sister, Gemma Townley, also writes fun chick lit novels.


  1. Returning your visit via the hop. Have a good weekend!

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  3. Just hopping by to say, hi.
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  4. Just hopping by your blog! Nice blog! I love reading cozies. One of my favorite authors is Diane Mott Davidson. I'm a new follower! Looking forward to learning more about you through your blog!