Book Review: The Marriage Pact

The Marriage Pact

by: Michelle Richmond

Publication Date: July 25, 2017 *pre-release*
Finished on: July 22, 2017
Publisher: Bantam

Special thanks to Netgalley and Bantam for sending me a free e-galley of this novel for review before publication.  All thoughts below reflect my honest review.

Jake and Alice are are newlyweds.  Do they know what it takes to have a perfect marriage?  Where they really cut out for this?  Its weeks after their wedding, and already doubts set in.  A wedding gift sits, unopened, until a surprise visitor tells them about The Pact.  The Pact is a membership to an elite club (or cult?) with strict rules for how a couple should proceed with their marriage.  No one has ever left The Pact.  No members of The Pact have ever been divorced.  All members are rich, beautiful, and happy.  It sounds perfect, right?  Not surprisingly, The Pact is not all that it appears.  While some rules are great ideas - each spouse gives the other a gift each month, the couple should go on one vacation each quarter, each spouse must always answer each other's phone calls - others are a bit crazy - you can never gain more than 10 pounds from your wedding weight.  Jake and Alice dive in, and are quickly caught breaking rules and facing the consequences of The Pact.  They want out, but can they navigate a way while keeping their marriage and their lives intact?

My review:

  • Overall, this book didn't really read as a suspense or thriller for me.  I was able to push through, but I wasn't feeling pushed or anxious at any part during the book.  
  • As far as the characters were concerned, part of me was annoyed that Jake and Alice couldn't follow the rules.  It's not that hard to buy one gift in a month when you are an affluent couple.  I just felt like the characters didn't have real problems, so they created problems and issues with their life.  Jake was able to critique and analyze all of his clients' lives and relationships, but seemed unable to look at his own marriage in the same light.  This irritated me.  Overall, I liked Alice's character better and think I would have enjoyed this novel from her point of view.  
  • Moving on to The Pact.  This is a group that started with a noble cause, but has run terribly off course.  I would have liked to know more about The Pact, the other members, the parties, etc.  So much of the book seemed to focus directly on Jake and Alice, but may have been more exciting if it focused more on The Pact or included other Pact members point-of-views.  The Pact itself was intriguing and disturbing.  The torture that was described was unique, to say the least.
  • I actually really enjoyed the chapters that Michelle Richmond included on recent scientific studies about successful marriage.  I thought these were interesting breaks from the story and came at just the right time.

Overall, I rate this 3.5/5 stars.  Its a fun, cult-like book with a little bit of suspense and intrigue.  I can think of several better new-release books to recommend from this category, so it was a bit of a disappointment for me.  A good book, just not the best fit for me.

I recommend this book with slight reservation for suspense lovers or those who want to learn more about the psyches in marriage.


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