Michelle Richmond | The Marriage Pact

marriage pact michelle richmond

The Book: 

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond, 2017

The Characters: 

Married couple Alice and Jake

Get it on Amazon.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

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.

marriage pact michelle richmond
Get the book here.
Click here for book spoilers for The Marriage Pact
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Marriage Pact, I suggest you turn back now.

The Pact functions based off of the British government. When a law is broken, the infraction is associated with different classes of misdemeanors and felonies, and lawbreakers are punished accordingly. 

When they realize what the pact really is, Jake searches for a way out. Both he and Alice are punished for various infractions. When Alice is accused of cheating on Jake, Jake fears for her life. He travels to Ireland to meet with the Pact’s founder to try to get them out of it. 

Orla eventually offers them a deal: they can either take over as leaders of the Pact once she dies, or they can leave the Pact and get no further help from them. At the time, they are in a prison in the middle of the Nevada desert. The Pact will not save their lives if they can’t make it to civilization.

The Ending:

Alice and Jake choose freedom, and are walking through the Nevada desert with little water and no food. We don’t know if they make it, but they most likely died. This was a dumb ending to an otherwise great book. I guess the point is that they’d rather die than stay in the Pact, but I feel like it would’ve been better to end it before they chose a door. There were lots of alternate endings that I feel would have been more interesting.

I felt towards the end that Alice maybe wanted to stay in the Pact while Jake didn’t, and that would’ve made for a much more interesting storyline. I also wondered if maybe Alice was in on the whole thing with Neal and Joanna. 

It also would have been interesting for them to accept the leadership and improve the Pact.

I also found myself wanting more information about how The Pact operates. How did they know all of those things about Jake and Alice? Did they bug their house/phones, or just have Pact members watching around the clock? If the latter, were those people paid by the Pact to spy instead of doing their real jobs?

The Review: 

This book reminded me of The Chain, which I also loved. Another creepy organization there to control your every move. 

I thought the premise of The Marriage Pact was brilliant. What a creepy concept–other people spying on your marriage and punishing you for what you do “wrong”.  The members calling each other “Friend” gave me shivers every time. 

The book was fast-paced and intriguing, and I was eager to see what Alice and Jake would do in each situation. I had lots of theories as I read, but none were quite accurate. 

I liked everything about this book except the ending (if you’ve read it, click the spoilers above for my thoughts). It kind of felt like a cop out, as if the author couldn’t think of a good ending or just got bored of the story. Would have been a five star read if it wrapped up better!

Overall the book was enjoyable despite its flaws. 

marriage pact michelle richmond

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