Just when unlikely cancer survivor Lang Eldridge is packed for a celebratory trip with her beloved husband, he drops dead on the tennis court, carrying a secret that could destroy her life with him to his grave. Faced with losing her historic family home, Lang realizes her family hangs in the balance of her inner and outer battles. Is she strong enough not to lose everything she loves?
Gently seductive, moving and often humorous, Making Arrangements proves an extraordinarily beguiling fictional debut for Robinson. With a theme that naturally leans towards the maudlin, it's richly layered and purposefully paced. There are laugh out loud moments, and then quiet moments when we're touched by the enormity of events in Lang's life. On this level, there's a duality to Robinson's story as she confidently explores difficult emotions and life decisions, but it's in moments of levity that her novel really connects and illuminates her characters. With a deft narrative and melodious dialogue, she brings them to life. They're polished, intelligent and well-pitched without feeling overly intrusive, and in this way Robinson gets to the crux of Jack's secret and the legacy of his death. Drawing her readers in with a plot that is both well-conceived and intriguing, she not only delivers a beautifully crafted story, but one which encourages more than just passing reflection along the way. Robinson touches on notes of longing, middle-aged foibles and the realisation that it's often the unexpected things that are beyond our control that bring us the moments of greatest clarity.
An altogether absorbing read and a highly notable fiction debut, Making Arrangements is likely to have broad appeal and is recommended without reservation.