Book Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

Scrappymags 3-word review: Happy I’m single!!!

Genre: Psychological Mystery/Thriller, out 7/25/17 (Tuesday!)

Shortest summary ever: A strange marriage gift arrives for Alice and Jake from a last-minute, wealthy wedding guest whom they barely know – a locked box containing an invitation to an exclusive group simply called “The Pact.” Accept, and you open the box and agree to the terms. Decline, and go on your way. Enticed by the elite, glittery lifestyle shown thus far, Alice and Jake accept with good intentions but without fully understanding the impact of this frightening decision…

What’s good under the hood: I enjoy sharp writing that evokes thinking and this book happily delivered. As a happy singleton (not opposed to marriage but who knows now), I enjoyed delving into the thought of marriage and this Pact – would this actually be a good thing? Something that would help marriage survive? The questions that ping-pinged my brain were fast and furious. I found it helpful to consider the thoughts  and questions of Jake (the narrator). I think some might immediately dismiss this and think “ugh.. stupid people falling for a cult”, but like Jake – truly consider some of the tenets of The Pact, and think of your own marriage…

Can’t say I loved the main characters because I thought it odd a lawyer would sign into something without sufficient research and analysis, but I also found them believable and sometimes enjoyable characters aren’t necessarily likeable in my book (pun intended). 

There are clear parallels to Scientology with this group (including a mention of a higher-ups disliking psychiatry) as well as the various structures/housing, etc.

What’s bad or made me mad: As stated, I didn’t LOVE the main characters’ motivations, I am not married and have never been married so I don’t think I’m precisely the target demographic for the book, not that this fact is essential but I think marrieds (or those divorced) will appreciate this book even more.

Recommend to: General best-seller/mystery readers

  • A GREAT book club selection – tons of marriage themes to discuss! One I would love to see the various opinions. 

Avoid if: Gullible characters are your deal breakers. Might be offended if you’re a scientologist.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Ballantine and the author Michelle Richmond for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review and oddly making me intensely, satisfyingly and smugly happy to be single.

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