The Marriage Act by John Marrs

Book Description:

From John Marrs, the bestselling author of The One. Set in the same world, The Marriage Act is a dark, high-concept thriller.

‘One of the most exciting original thriller writers’ – Simon Kernick, author of Good Cop Bad Cop

What if marriage was the law? Dare you disobey?

Britain. The near-future. A right-wing government believes it has the answer to society’s ills – the Sanctity of Marriage Act, which actively encourages marriage as the norm, punishing those who choose to remain single.

But four couples are about to discover just how impossible relationships can be when the government is monitoring every aspect of our personal lives, tracking every word, every minor disagreement . . . and will use every tool in its arsenal to ensure everyone will love, honour and obey.

Black Mirror meets thriller with a dash of Naomi Alderman’s The Power.

My Thoughts:

John Marrs is an author who has written a few futuristic thrillers now that will raise hairs on his readers arms with the frightening possibilities of what the future could hold. Whilst this is a standalone, there are some mentions of a couple of his other stories with the cars that drive themselves and DNA matches to find your soul mate.

From the off I wasn’t sold on the sanctity of marriage act. Couples who get married get better paid, better benefits and whilst there is a lot on offer to entice more couples to get and stay married, I couldn’t help going through a whole lot of what ifs. We meet four couples whose relationships are experiencing a few problems and the idea of anyone monitoring my personal life was just horrifying to me.

The four couples are all very different and it was interesting to see how things start to clamp down on them all with unwanted members playing god with their relationships. There was one particular thread to do with widowhood that I found particularly sad and had me tear up. That was how wrapped I was up in the story and my emotions were in turmoil.

The Marriage Act was an engrossing read that had me in two minds on whether I was glad to be married or not. Events that happen in this book were pretty scary and in some ways a reminder of just how much technology has come on but that doesn’t necessarily mean its for the best. Technology has no empathy for a start although some of the characters actions in the story were also quite horrifying. It certainly gave me more than a few chills reading this book and I love how the author opens your minds to what life could be like in another twenty or so years. Mind blowing!

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