THE ARRANGEMENT by Ashley Warlick
Publisher Viking/Penguin, February 9, 2016
She’d made it sound as
though her husband would be joining them for dinner. She’d made it sound
that way on purpose, and then she arrived alone.
Los Angeles, 1934. Mary Frances is young, restlessly married, and returning
from her first sojourn in France. She is hungry, and not just for food: she
wants Tim, her husband Al’s charming friend, who encourages her writing and
seems to understand her better than anyone. After a night’s transgression,
it’s only a matter of time before Mary Frances claims what she truly
desires, plunging all three of them into a tangled triangle of affection
that will have far-reaching effects on their families, their careers, and
Set in California, France, and the Swiss Alps, The Arrangement is a
sparkling, sensual, and completely enveloping story of love, passion, and a
woman well ahead of her time, who would go on to become the legendary food
writer M.F.K. Fisher.
The Arrangement gives vivid voice to the complicated, fascinating,
rule-breaking MFK Fisher. Ashley Warlick’s confident and lyrical prose
brings the famous food writer’s world—from California to France to
Switzerland; from her family to her husband to her lover—to life in sensual
and deliciously literary detail. When I finished reading, I wanted to turn
back to page one and start all over again.
-- Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Race for Paris and The
"A sophisticated and unapologetic tale of wayward desire that I read far
too long into the night, worrying about how MFK Fisher could possibly solve
her excruciating dilemma—a dilemma that is at once impossible, seductive,
-- Robin Oliveira, author of My Name is Mary Sutter and I
Always Loved You
"Warlick skillfully reveals the story of a young woman's sensual and
creative awakening with meticulous craft and fervent splendor."
-- J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
The Arrangement is a ravishing depiction of the time when MFK Fisher was
giving herself over to her essential appetites—for language, food and
consuming passion—living fully to the edges of herself for the first time,
no matter the price. Ashley Warlick’s prose, sharp and true as the edge of a
honed blade, is as much a revelation as Fisher herself. Absolutely dazzling.
-- Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the