Book Review: The Arrangement – Ashley Warlick

41nppyth4olReading Peopleoids!

I’m just finishing my next book: The Arrangement by Ashely Warlick (ISBN 978-0525429661) and this book has its own surrounding story.

I think I should start from Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, author and creator of the unique literary genre of gastronomic novel and essay. Her active period started a little before World War II and she is still considered the top exponent of that genre.

This year (2016) was published an almost unknown work by MFK Fisher, a little fiction novel that she wrote before dedicating all her efforts to the gastronomic writing.

This new publication is titled “The Theoretical Foot” and in a quick recapitulation, tells us about one day in the life of these three characters that live in a little house in a town outside Sweden before the war. While the names of the characters are fictitious, the situations described were not.

Parallel and totally independent from that book, this year Ashley Warlick publishes The Arrangement, that tells us the life story of MFK Fisher from 1934 to 1943 and depicts everything that gave origin to the story told in “The Theoretical Foot”. It is relevant to mention that Warlick did not have access to Mary Frances’ personal notes, yet she captured the complexities of the story, which was what ultimately led me to get interested in these two books.

About the book, is really easy to keep up with the book. Its fluent and surrounding tone, far from unnecessary complexities, it describes the characters, their thoughts and how the feel. Without going to deep in the California, New York, Paris or Sweden of the late 30’s and early 40’s, the subtle hints that we get to see while we go with the characters are more than enough to transport us to that window looking to the vineyard outside, or to the tense-dynamic Hollywood or the eternal romantic bohemian Paris.

The main line of the story is about Mary Frances’ evolution as a writer along her just discovered passion and sexual infatuation for her mentor and best friend and how she deals with feelings of guilt towards her husband. It explores how simple decisions can lead to dangerous situations and how the intellectual and artistic common stimulation is more powerful than any other link.

I liked the story and I think I got a good insight on the characters in preparation for “The Theoretical Foot”.


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