The Marriage Pact {living outside the stacks} #BookReview #LivingOutsideTheStacks #TeamLOTS #LibrarianReads

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Author: Michelle Richmond

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Bantam Books

Release Date: 25 July 2017

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 432

ABOUT THE BOOK {from the inside flap of the book}

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 decided 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


Michelle Richmond is the bestselling author of The Year of the Fog, No One You Know, Hum: Stories, Golden State, Dream of the Blue Room, and the award~winning The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress. A native of Mobile, Alabama, she lives with her husband and son in San Francisco.




I love The Hubs. And I’d like to think there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to protect him and our marriage, buuuuuut…. The Pact had me looking at The Hubs like, we’re just gonna have to take each other’s word on the “til death do us part” thing because I’m not trying to get tortured {physically or mentally} to prove my love.

But, seriously, this novel had me asking so many questions.

The first one being: what kind of lawyer signs a contract without reading it first? I found it hard to believe that a lawyer and her family counselor husband wouldn’t read the small print. I know this had to happen in order for the drama to take place but, come on… And surely after the first {second?} hint that something is amiss with The Pact, someone would go back and read the danged thing from cover to cover with a yellow highlighter, notepad, and Pilot Precise V5 pen? Who are these people?

That being said, I did enjoy the book although I found the ending a bit disappointing. It kind of reminded me of an old movie where the scene closes with the couple in silhouette. It’s not that the ending was {overly} ambiguous, it’s just not what I would have chosen for an ending. But I’ve jumped ahead…

The premise for the book is both exciting and a tad bit quirky. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do everything to ensure that their marriage beats the odds {sprinkled throughout the novel are all sorts of disheartening statistics on marriage and it’s viability}? And the marriage rules offered by The Pact actually make sense and are, well, kind of sweet. But it’s the enforcement of those rules that are scary.

The characters are, for the most part, well written. The evil characters are evil in a psychotic / manipulative / what the heck is wrong with you sort of way. But it’s Alice, Jake’s wife, that I ended up despising. So much so that I actually wanted The Pact to make an exception and end the marriage between Jake and Alice and find him a new partner. I think what bothered me was that she wasn’t so much committed to making her marriage to Jake succeed as she was in not being seen as a failure to those within The Pact. It’s like she forgot about the love part of marriage and became solely focused on the rules of The Pact.

For his part, Jake was a bit more sympathetic. It was interesting to watch how he started to analyze his marriage and realize that, perhaps, his reasons for marrying Alice weren’t wholly rooted in love from the jump, but in a need to own her. As the novel progressed, I could see his feelings towards her {and himself} change and become more reflective and mature.

This book contains psychological and physical violence as well as some sexual content. If you go to the author’s website, there’s a downloadable book group discussion guide.


I take her hand in mine. Her fingers are cold, so different from her usual warmth, and it makes me think of how her hands might feel when she’s old. And I know that I want to be with her then… I want all of it. Not because I need to possess her, as I once thought, but because I love her. I love her so much.

Page 266


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Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Let’s discuss…

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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