A Perfect Arrangement: A Novel

Front Cover
Algonquin Books, 2001 - Fiction - 301 pages
1 Review
Handsome and ambitious, Mirella and Howard Cook-Goldman have it all-two precious children, dual careers, a great old colonial house on Massachusetts's North Shore, a golden retriever. The only thing they lack is reliable child care.

Enter Randi Gill, sent by Family Options, Ltd., an agency specializing in Midwestern girls with teaching aspirations ("Could you be Comfortable with Anything but the Best for Your Family?. . . Guaranteed Nationwide FBI Criminal Fingerprinting and Background Checks."). Randi's references are perfect. She's perfect. She cleans, cooks, sews, and makes her own Play-Doh. The children love her . . . almost too much.

Though it's hard for Mirella to watch Randi succeed with the children where she has failed, she can't deny the peace and order Randi has brought to the household. But perfection is a tough act to maintain, and soon enough, there are ruptures. When events force Mirella and Howard to reveal the secrets they've been hiding from each other, the family cataclysm catapults the nanny (who has secrets of her own) into a position of unnatural control.

In A Perfect Arrangement, Suzanne Berne now fixes her sights on contemporary, two-career family life. Overscheduled and overwhelmed, today's parents are desperate for help. Whatever child care they manage to set up, the arrangements are rarely perfect. This suspenseful novel asks a question all of them face: "Is there anyone you can trust with your children?"

 

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A PERFECT ARRANGEMENT

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The stress in a modern-day marriage of opposites is exacerbated by the arrival of a seemingly perfect nanny—in a thought-provoking and accomplished second novel by the author of A Crime in the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Launa05 - LibraryThing

This book was such a BIG disappoinment. I kept waiting for the big finale...there was none. You're literally sitting there mentally gathering up all the clues for the huge revelation only to hit a brick wall. This book was a dud. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

I
3
II
16
III
31
IV
43
V
56
VI
69
VII
82
VIII
90
XVI
160
XVII
171
XVIII
180
XIX
187
XX
192
XXI
206
XXII
220
XXIII
236

IX
99
X
112
XI
124
XII
133
XIII
137
XIV
143
XV
153
XXIV
246
XXV
259
XXVI
266
XXVII
275
XXVIII
286
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Suzanne Berne is the author of three novels, the first of which, A Crime in the Neighborhood, won great Britain's Orange Prize. Her most recent novel is The Ghost at the Table. She lives with her family near Boston and teaches at Boston College.

Bibliographic information