30 May, 2017

#BookReview :: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

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. 

Alice and Jake are newlyweds. Alice used to be a musician and is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in a psychology practice. They come across as the perfect couple despite their different backgrounds.  Just as they return from their honeymoon, the receive a call from one of Alice’s prominent clients about a unique wedding present; Membership to a mysterious and very exclusive group known only as The Pact. At the face value, it seems like an interesting concept. The members must follow certain rules that are meant to help keep the couples happy in their relationship. So, Alice and Jake decide to join the club. But soon they discover that following the rules may not be as easy as it seems and there are serious repercussions in case they fail to follow them.

The book has a slow start in order able us to acclimatize ourselves to the various characters and the concept of the club. But once it settles in, the book maintains a steady pace and pages fly by. I was a bit disconcerted with the punishments for the infractions and must admit that they weren’t easy to read. Then there are the characters of Alice and Jake… I didn’t quite like Jake as one of the protagonist. If his insecurities were meant to help us like him, it did not work. And their personal relationship lacked proper chemistry that is expected from the lead couple. The other thing that bugged me is the fact that not all loops were tied up in the end. There were certain aspects of the club and its members that were not explained, like how did they know things that they clearly weren’t supposed to know.

The winner for the book is the narrative style adopted by the author. It is interesting and engaging. As a result, even with my misgivings with the book I ended up reading it really fast.

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