I enjoy a good cult story. I thought The Sixes by Kate White was a great read – actually, that novel prompted me to read all of White’s books back to back. To be honest, as soon as I started reading The Marriage Pact, I didn’t really know where it was going. It started out with too much detail and I put it down several times. Once it picked up the pace, I had to see it through. Overall, it was definitely entertaining – although I wish that there were multiple viewpoints instead of just the husband – but the whole plot became a bit ridiculous and the ending was a little out of left field. All through the last half of the book, I found myself shaking my head – what the hell!?
Title: The Marriage Pact
Author: Michelle Richmond
Rating: More Miss Than Hit
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 432 (16 hours, 24 minutes via audio)
Alice and Jake are newlyweds who find themselves entangled with a group of Friends that belong to an exclusive and secret group called The Pact. The goal is to keep marriages happy and avoid divorce at all costs. Some of the rules include planning quarterly vacations, buying monthly gifts for your spouse, and always answering the phone when they call. All of this seems pretty straightforward (at first) and joining feels like a no-brainer to the happy couple. Because let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to have the support of other seasoned couples as you navigate your new marriage?
Things quickly get out of hand when some of the rules are broken. Alice is put into a head/neck restraint for her transgressions – almost like a neck brace, but metal. For a month. Jake is accused of adultery and sent to “prison” for a week or so. Things escalate even more (if you can believe it) and the two are forced to go on the run to escape The Pact. After all of this, the ending is just so ridiculous and unbelievable. You’ll probably wonder why you stuck around to finish it.
If you’re looking to be entertained and don’t care too much about the plot, this might be a good book for you. If you’re on the hunt for a more sensible psychological thriller, keep looking.
I can’t say this book was disappointing because I really wasn’t sure what to expect – I read it for free via my Audible membership. It’s about a cultish marriage pact that the protagonists find themselves unable to escape. If you listen to it, you might be sad you wasted over 16 hours on it. Or you could revel in the fact that the drama in your marriage doesn’t even scratch the surface of this disastrous tale. If you’re looking to be entertained, give it a go; if you care about the plot, skip it.