I’m afraid this book didn’t do it for me. I was bored and didn’t complete it. A tired story-line.
Poaching of moose and other animals in mountains of USA. Rangers trying to stop. Horse Farm for holiday riding with some horse taming by the horse whisperer.
Bit chick lit even though billed as a suspense story, the suspense was very light.
A story that gets darker as it develops.
So here is the fairly typical West Coast USA couple. Well educated, good careers with some previous experimentation, living together in a bijou house in a nice neighbourhood. Marriage seems the next and logical step.
And a friend introduces them to this ‘organisation’ that started in Ireland, which aims to help people have better marriages and fewer divorces.
Strangely, to join the organisation you have sign a contract, and then are given a very large book of rules of behaviour. The rules are very precise and specify minutiae – as an example, if your spouse rings you, you must answer within 2 rings. Now you may ask, what happens if you answer in 3 rings? And how would the organisation know? Which is where the story starts getting creepy. Apparently they do know. And you will be ‘reported’ and ‘dealt’ with.
The story is told by Jake, who is a counsellor and therapist, and it is his marriage to Alice that is examined in the book.
If you are married, or about to be married, there are definitely some elements of this story that you might want to think about. How often do you talk to your partner properly? Not just about day to day chores and work. How often do you surprise them with a gift? For no reason other than that you want to?
The statistics about divorce are horrendous and also those about how often marriage counselling fails. So the idea of (self) help and how to make a successful marriage appeals. But, I suspect, that what works for some couples, works for them alone, just because they are who they are, and not someone else. So don’t copy their behaviour!
Which is why I don’t think that the concept of the Pact was useful as an idea from the cult leaders. Who clearly had the wrong sort of psychological training…..
I really like the story and got more and more horrified as the story went on. And the final chapter was completely unexpected.
China Mack re-appears in this next book in the series as the manager and leader of a group, rather than a follower and finds it trickier. Especially, as her habits interfere with her work and she is often forced to forego her precious rituals. For someone with OCD this is very upsetting…
She is involved with 2 men and finds herself meeting the President of the United States in a somewhat unusual situation. Spies, treachery and conspiracies are essential in this story but it is told with a deft touch of humour and we really bond with China as she struggles to make sense of her new situation.
I live Geeky girls and China is no exception. Can’t wait for the next inst
Now when I started reading this I wasn’t sure if a: I liked Toni; and b: this was as good a book as the previous ones. It certainly wasn’t as amusing.
But as I read on, some humour started to appear and Toni became a much more sympathetic character when her back story emerged. I became interested in her and her relationship with Lucky.
This was a more serious storyline with abusive relationships to be thought about and how you might react, and the impact of prison on your personality and behaviour.
The ending is really good too.