The Marriage Pact

Michelle Richmond. Bantam, $27 (432p) ISBN 978-0-385-34329-9
In this uneven thriller from Richmond (Golden State), an unusual gift from a couple invited at the last minute to Jake and Alice’s San Francisco wedding hints at the possibility of a perfect marriage. When Jake and Alice return to the city after their honeymoon, a visitor reveals the nature of the gift: the members of the Pact, an exclusive and secretive organization dedicated to making marriages succeed, invite Jake and Alice to join them. Insecure Jake, a therapist who’s well aware of the fragility of marriage, is eager to join. Alice, a musician turned lawyer, impulsively signs the contract without reading it or the manual outlining the rules. Soon Jake and Alice discover the dark side of a group that never allows a couple to divorce. The Pact will go to any length to ensure each couple meets the terms of their contracts; no infractions, no matter how minor, pass unpunished. Unfortunately, undeveloped characters and lapses of logic undermine the intriguing premise. Readers will hope that Richmond returns to her usual mesmerizing form next time. Agent: Valerie Borchardt, Georges Borchardt. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/15/2017
Release date: 07/25/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-525-50121-3
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-101-96614-3
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