“The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond
Book: “The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond
Published by Bantam on 25th July, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Psychological thriller, Suspense, Thriller
Format: ARC paperback, 414 pages
Source: Goodreads giveaway
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
The goal of The Pact seems simple—to keep marriages happy and intact—and most of its rules make sense: always answer the phone when your spouse calls, exchange thoughtful gifts monthly, plan a trip together once per quarter…
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, and their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
And then one of them breaks the rules.
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life—and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.
I’m not sure whether I first joined the giveaway for this added The Marriage Pact to my to-read shelf on Goodreads, but my thought when joining was, “If I win, I’ll obviously read it. If not, I may not ever get around to reading it.”
Film rights have been optioned off to 20th Century Fox—rare is it that I read a book before it makes it to a motion production, so I’m quite glad to have been able to read this!
Seldom is it that I also rate something all of five stars, so without spoilers, allow me to explain how uh-may-zing this book was:
Captivating—it’s a drug.
You can quote me on that. I lost sleep over this book, because I couldn’t put it down. I had to pry myself away to eat, use the toilet, and shower. I read it in 2.5 days, a new personal record for books of this page count.
Told from first-person point-of-view through the husband, Jake, we experience everything in present and past tense.
I got a little confused in the beginning, because the first chapter was the “future” when it probably should’ve been a prologue, but the story eventually panned out. I have an advanced copy, which I’ve come to learn may not be fully edited, so I’ll let that shiz slide.~
I enjoyed reading his memory recalls of him and Alice’s relationship. He kept saying this thing — how the people we want to be is not necessarily who we put forth, and so sometimes we do things we’d not do if we were thinking clearly (not verbatim) — and I liked it because of how true it is, but even more because sometimes epiphanies need to hit us on repeat until they sign a lease in our brains and remain their for good.
Alice was a complex character. He loved her for it. He called it “having multitudes”. She was unpredictable, and just when I thought I’d had her sorted out, I didn’t. She was messy and unpredictable, and I loved it most of all because clearly these two things aren’t deterrents (and they give me a little hope). 😅
But one of the things I really dislike in a lot of female characters these days is how weak they are — weak, in that they are shallow and haven’t much depth; they can be broken through to in an instant, even through their morals and standards — and I’m always so annoyed, because it’s boring and unrealistic and wishy-washy and lazy and lacking and inhuman.
So I enjoyed it. The Pact community is a lot like that of a cult, and there is even a moment wherein Jake is promoted to contemplate it; sometimes it’s hard to read, because the punishments for breaking the rules are intense.
In many ways, it reminded me of what I’ve read and watched about scientology. In other ways, it made me wonder if The Pact is like what would happen if conservative Christians clinging to their conventional values “ran the world”, as I often feel they’d refer to do instead of cohabiting with all the other neighbors.
It was definitely different.