The Arrangements
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (read by January Lavoy)
HarperCollins Audiobook

Clocking in at 31 minutes,this is not an audiobook so much as an audio story. Last year, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was commissioned by The New York Times to write “anything” she wanted about the 2016 United States presidential election. She chose Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, filtered via Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. Many will be here for gossip: a glimpse of Trump’s “pale, slack belly, and the sprinkle of bristly hair on his back”, Melania’s fears should he spot an imperfect dimple on her thigh and endless asides about how much her diamonds and breasts cost. Trump might feel he owns Melania, but her inner life suggests she’s no one’s chattel. January Lavoy reads smoothly, perhaps a little too smoothly. But this seems in keeping with a “soft and subtle” operator.