The Marriage Pact – a Review

The Marriage Pact is a thriller, but the deeper you get into the book, the more of a horror story it becomes. When you imagine you and your own spouse trapped in the exact situation that Alice and Jake are, it becomes terrifying.

As a wedding gift, Alice and Josh receive an invitation to join The Pact. It sounds like a great idea to join a group whose goal is to make your marriage stronger, so they accept and sign the papers. What starts out as a good thing to do for their marriage very quickly turns into something horrifying.

The manual they are given contains a set of rules that you and your spouse are expected to strictly follow. There are no exceptions. But to them, a lot of the rules make sense. What is wrong with doing things that make your marriage stronger? Always answering your phone when your spouse calls, exchanging thoughtful gifts monthly, and getting away together once every four months could only serve to make a marriage strong. But what happens if one breaks a rule?

nightmare, pixabay

When they break one of the rules from the manual, the counsel they are supposed to receive has turned into cruel and sadistic torture. Then they discover there is no way out of what seems to them to be a cult. People simply disappear instead of leaving.

Some tell them the truth; others lie and deceive them. Their perfect marriage has now turned into a nightmare. Will they find a way out? Or will being a part of this group end up killing them along with their marriage.

NetGalley sent me a copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review. If you would like your own copy of The Marriage Pact to read, I’ve provided an Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: The Marriage Pact

Once you read this book, you’ll understand exactly why it made me think of this song.

Favorite Sentences:
It was like an archaeological treasure trove of a small, long-forgotten tribe from a lost civilization.

open up to imagination,

Like a bend in the river, the stress or anxiety can wear on the face in tiny increments, until a slight pattern becomes noticeable to the naked eye.

It’s as if a raccoon with a law degree and a penchant for overpriced Icelandic yogurt breaks into our house each night, only to slip out in the early morning light.

I feel like a frog strapped down in a high school biology class, waiting to be dissected.

Where do interrogation and torture fit into a healthy marriage?

dacha, Max Pixel

New Words Learned:
affluenza – a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation

dacha – a country house or cottage in Russia

deleterious harmful

monastic – of or relating to monks, nuns, or others living under religious vows, or the buildings in which they live

parse – analyze

profiteroles – small hollow pastries typically filled with cream and covered in chocolate sauce

About the Author:
Michelle Richmond is the author of four novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Year of Fog, and two award-winning story collections. Her fifth novel, The Marriage Pact, will be published in summer of 2017, with foreign editions forthcoming in 26 languages.

Michelle grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and has made her home for many years in Northern California. Visit for updates, reading group guides, and social media links.


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