The Marriage Pact Review
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Even if you’ve never been married yourself, just one look at the statistics on divorce will tell you that marriage isn’t always easy. But in The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond, when a couple of newlyweds take steps to help them make their marriage succeed, they end up way over their heads.

The story begins with a wedding. Jake is a partner in a new therapy practice, and Alice is a rock star turned lawyer with a bright future ahead of her. They’re madly in love and ready to take the next step in their Happily Ever After. So when they receive a strange box as a wedding gift—and an invitation to join a kind of secret society for happily married couples—they don’t hesitate to sign on the dotted line. But they soon discover that The Pact is so much more than just some fancy parties and guidelines for a successful marriage.

The Marriage Pact may begin with a love story—with two people beginning their life together as husband and wife—but even in those happy moments, it’s clear that this isn’t just another fairy tale. There’s something eerily foreboding from the start—something that quickly grabs hold and spins out of control. As Jake looks back on their relationship—and even on their perfect wedding day—he does so with the kind of self-awareness that only comes from hindsight, acknowledging the selfishness and insecurities that were built into their relationship.

It seems like The Pact is a no-brainer for this couple (or any couple, really), offering the kind of support and encouragement to guarantee that their marriage will be the success that they want it to be. And, at first, it seems like a great idea—if maybe a little...strange. The other couples are welcoming and helpful (though maybe just a little bit creepy), and they have some really helpful guidelines. But it isn’t long before it turns dark—until Jake and Alice realize that the guidelines are more than just guidelines. And it’s impossible to tell if their relationship is built on true love and commitment or on their fear of the often shocking consequences.

What plays out, then, is a tense and gripping psychological thriller—page after page of secrets, lies, suspicions, and suspense. Admittedly, some of the final chapters seem to throw the story and the pacing off-balance—but not only will you end up unable to set the book aside, too eager to find out what comes next, but you may also find yourself stopping to think more about your own relationships, too.

Twisted and terrifying and strangely thought-provoking, too, The Marriage Pact may not be a sweet, fluffy love story, but it’s certainly an action-packed read—one that might also give you some unexpected marriage advice while you’re racing through the pages.

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