July 20, 2017

Macky Reads The Marriage Pact

The Marriage Pact book cover
The Marriage Pact was a solid departure from pretty much anything I have ever read. It’s about a couple who get a mysterious invite to join a group of married couples who adhere to 'The Marriage Pact', a list of rules and regulations that, if obeyed, will yield a long lasting marriage and if disobeyed will garner… consequences. Secret creepy cult much?

Well, that’s the plot for these kinds of stories. The thrill, I assume, is in the unveiling of the full truth as our characters get sucked deeper and deeper into the new reality they have stumbled upon. What is interesting to me is that the creepy “is it a cult/is it not a cult” group is seemingly united around a set of rules that were aimed at keeping marriages strong.

It reads like a marriage self-help book (what with our main character being a therapist) that got grafted onto the time-honored suspense thriller formula. The deeper they get sucked in, the crazier things get. Especially when our main couple meet group members who don’t seem to be gung-ho about the whole thing and are as terrified as they are, if not more.

Like most thrillers, there is a very long buildup and a ton of mundane scenes before the big reveal. What I do appreciate is how at the core of this terrible escalation of events is a couple desperately trying to stay married. Granted, the driving force of this entire story is “Who the hell are these people and how the heck are they going to shake em off?” But still, as far as narratives go, I appreciated the ending.

This book in itself may well be a departure from the usual suspense thriller formula just because of the theme and the way the story plays out. I’m no expert in the genre, but I do know that I didn’t quit on this book. It’s fresh, it deserves its shot to be out there, it’s very well written, and there’s a lot of heart in it.

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
Publisher: Bantam Books | Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Source: ARC received at BEA 2017 (Thanks!)


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