Author: Michelle Richmond
Publisher: Random House- Ballantine Books
Pub Date: July 25, 2017
In two sentences:
Alice, a rock singer turned lawyer, and Jake, a psychiatrist, get married and accept membership into The Pact. A group that thinks they have perfected the recipe for a lasting marriage, and will do anything to make sure members follow the rules.
This concept was so interesting to me it was like marriage meets 1984. I feel as though it may have been influenced by 1984, but I don’t know for sure.
The rules are pretty standard and none of them were that surprising. It’s things such as get presents, take trips, answer phone calls etc. But then there seemed to be things that would conflict with the amount of time off at their prestigious jobs and they tended to drop things at a moments notice. I had a hard time believing they wouldn’t have career consequences. Anyway, if you break even a small rule you get summoned for a court date and get sentenced to monitoring or time in their jail etc. It was intense.
The characters in this book stood out to me because they were so well written. So often I read and think “are you kidding? That’s not realistic” which didn’t happen with this book. They didn’t make those stupid decisions the main characters do in normal thrillers. Going along with that, the characters and relationships developed both together and apart. Which was so refreshing.
There were three different writing styles in this book. There were some chapters that basically just restated marriage facts. Others had a storytelling vibe where I felt as though someone were reading and then there was also the straight up thriller chapters. This bothered me at times because it was constantly shifting but it also made me focus on the different pieces of the story.
This book started out slow, I was confused as to what was happening in the first chapter because it was similar to a prologue that shoves the reader into the middle of the story. All I was thinking was “I don’t care about these characters, I don’t even know who this person is.” Then when that point came again I just wanted to know what was going to happen and it ended up being a real page turner.
Thank you to Random House- Ballantine Books and NetGalley for providing me an eARC copy of this book in exchange for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion on the book.