book blog · book review

The Pact by S.E. Lynes

37518103You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter.

The Daughter

15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, and how she got there, but she can’t speak the words out loud.

The Mother

Rosie’s mother Toni has a secret. She had a traumatic childhood, and she and her sister Bridget made each other a promise thirty years ago: that they could never speak the truth about what happened to them as children, and that they would protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…

Rosie was Toni’s second chance to get things right: a happy, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm.

But Rosie has plans that her mother doesn’t know about. She has dreams and ambitions – of love, of a career, of a life beyond the sheltered existence that her mother has created for her. But the secrets Rosie has been keeping have now put her life in danger.

The Pact

In order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever.


*Thank you to the publisher, Bookouture, and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

Told in alternating points of view between Rosie, Toni, and Bridget, The Pact is a psychological thriller about secrets and promises, and someone’s disturbing past. Toni and Bridget are sisters who’ve been greatly bonded by their past. A past that made them share a pact. A pact to never speak the truth to anyone, take care of each other and not rely on anyone’s help. Now, years later, Toni’s life revolves around her daughter, Rosie. But she can be overbearing sometimes and though Rosie understands her worries, it can be too much. She didn’t as much as rebel against her mother but there’s something she’d rather keep to herself. A secret that put her life in danger. And now, Toni is faced with a hard decision of saving her teenage daughter who’s fighting for her life at the hospital, but in turn, she has to break the promise she made with her sister.

The Pact is such a slow burn thriller, a combination of present and past events that leads to the opening chapter of Rosie at the hospital, fighting to keep alive. I struggled with this one as it really took its time to pick up, and by then my interest waned a little. Good thing is once it picks up, the suspense builds and continues until the end. That other storyline towards the end was very intriguing and would prefer to have more about it. The alternating POVs of the three characters let the readers know them better. Unexpectedly, they are all relatable and believable, even if not all are likeable. Toni, a single mother, may appear to be an overbearing mom a lot of times and could be annoying, her narrative showed us why she acts that way and what she’d been through. And thus, we get to understand where the overprotectiveness is coming from. While Rosie is your typical teenager. Shy but talented girl and needed a little push to have the confidence to do the things she loves, such as acting. With an excessively protective mother who’s been monitoring her every action came the need to be free of her mom’s tight grip. On the other hand, Bridget is the one I like the most. She’s cool, strong, responsible and supportive. A mediator between mother and daughter. She sacrificed a lot, even her own happiness, to protect and take care of her sister and niece.

Some things are predictable but there are also some twists that came off as a surprise. The last 40% pretty much made up for the slow start. The ending even caught me off guard. The book not only shows the special bond between family, a mother and daughter, and that of sisters made stronger by their shared secret. It also shows how social media can be dangerous and should use it with extra caution. Overall, The Pact ends up to be an okay read for me. It may have a slow start but it also got a good finish. Well-written thriller, I’d say.




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