When newlyweds, Alex and Jake, receive a wedding gift that invites them into an exclusive and mysterious group for married couples, they are flattered. The goal of The Pact is simple. Keep marriages happy and intact. Seduced by the glamorous parties and sense of community, they embrace The Pact. They are given a manual with all the rules, one being: don’t mention The Pact to anyone. As Alice and Jake try to adhere by their rules, they realize how much different The Pact is and how dangerous The Pact can be.
I love any book that has a cult vibe, so when I discovered The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond it immediately moved to the top of my TBR pile. I loved how this one took the domestic suspense genre and gave it a twist. I was so glad to read something where the conflict lies not between the married but couple, but instead, the married couple against the world. It really was like married people Fight Club.
Richmond is able to create two incredibly likeable characters in Jake and Alice. They complement each nicely and were very realistic. She also was able to create such a well put together and fast paced plot. I was engaged throughout and was continuously worried about Jake and Alice as they navigated their way through The Pact. Truly, at times, it became super creepy! I couldn’t believe the lengths that the members were willing to go. I read this one as a buddy read with Danielle from The Blonde Likes Books and we were continuously messaging each other with our worries.
I did feel like the ending was a random and kind of out in left field for me, especially in regards to the general tone of the book.
Overall, even with the random ending, I loved this book and would highly recommend it!!
Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
This one was a #cjsreads pick for July; keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one!
What Chandra Thought:
Meet Alice, the lawyer, and Jake the psychologist. Newlyweds, happy and living the dream. Then they receive an odd package from one of Alice’s most prestigious clients – The Pact. After talking to Vivian, a member of The Pact, they find out that The Pact has one goal – keep marriage happy. There’s a manual on everything: monthly gifts exchanged, mandatory trips four times a year… and do not speak of The Pact to anyone. Never ones to put off a challenge, they enjoy the solidarity of the community… until Alice breaks one of the rules. Punishments meted out to ensure rules aren’t broken are more than they ever had expected. No one leaves The Pact… alive, that is.
I flew through this book – an absolute page turner. It reminded me of a cross between the movie The Box with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden (mmm… James Marsden <3) and King’s Quitter’s Inc. I love reading anything related to cult like societies and this definitely fits the bill. The Pact is larger than anyone seems to foresee and their influence seems to be beyond reproach. Where the author takes you re their punishment had me on the edge of my seat. What is going to happen to Jake and Alice? Will they make it? Together? Separately? What other punishment could possibly be enforced to make them comply? Utterly fascinating. Then the ending… guys and gals, I’m not going to say too much as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but W…T….F…. It just didn’t fit for me. To have all the build up lead to that had me scratching my head and I either need another book to figure out what happens next, or an ending that wasn’t … so… neat? Off kilter? I don’t even know. I’m perplexed and confused and felt a bit let down.
I will say this, the author knows how to weave a tale and keep you focused. Told strictly through Jake’s POV, we get a real sense of who he is and how much he loves his wife. I mean, no matter how much you know your partner, do you ever really know EVERYTHING? Is there every such a thing as FULL disclosure? I would 100% pick up another book by Michelle Richmond. Until then I’m going to stew on this one for a bit. I’m truly torn on how to rate this one so I’ll stick with 3.5 stars due to the ending.