The Marriage Pact was not a book that first appealed to me if I’m honest. In theory it should have been right up my street, a psychological thriller where a young, newly married couple, find themselves in trouble with a group of mysterious, powerful, strangers. But it also sounded a little silly and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. Then I read a batch of good reviews and decided to give it a go.
Was it worth it? Yes, on balance, definitely. BUT you do need to be able to suspend belief because the story is all a bit silly and far-fetched. It doesn’t start out that way but – by the end – the situations Jake and Alice find themselves in get increasingly unbelievable. Perhaps, if they had been in some dystopian future they wouldn’t have been but, for something set in the here and now, I couldn’t quite see it myself.
Saying that though, there was a lot to recommend this book. Michelle Richmond sets a great scene and managed to draw me in enough at the beginning that I found myself turning pages till the very end, staying up late into the night to finish the book, despite my not quite falling for the plot. The central characters, Jake and Alice were a big part of that – they were complex and complicated and, as everything was told from Jake’s point of view, I could never be quite sure who Alice was and what she was thinking; this mean the final twist at the end did have me guessing as to which was she would fall. It didn’t go as I expected but there is nothing wrong with that. A story that can leave me saying I didn’t see something coming is always a good thing in my book.
So, a mixed bag, but not a bad one at all. Would I recommend the book? Yes, I would but with the proviso to leave any need for a plot without holes or leaps of logic at the door. Still, an enjoyable, fast paced, and fun read.
About the book…
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, 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.
Publisher: Penguin UK – Michael Joseph
Number of Pages: 415
Publication Date: 14th December, 2017 (paperback)
Rating: 3.75 / 5