I went into this thinking it was a domestic thriller but ended up being so much more. This is one of those books that ends up being an entirely different story than what you initially thought.
So we follow our main character Abigail Baskin who works for a publishing company in New York. She is in love with and is marrying a charming tech billionaire named Bruce Lamb. They are busy planning their wedding, and Abagail feels like the luckiest woman in the world.
Then during her bachelorette party weekend in California, she ends up getting a bit too drunk and has a one-night stand with an attractive guy. Both Abigail and the man agreed that they wouldn’t exchange their real names, so she refers to him as simply “Scottie.” Afterward, she attempts to put the tryst behind her and forget about the man, as she is convinced now more than ever that she wants to spend the rest of her life with Bruce.
So the wedding happens, and then Bruce whisks her off to Heart Pond Island for their honeymoon, an exclusive resort off the coast of Maine where there is no wi-fi, no cell phone service, and minimal electricity. The resort was a former summer camp surrounded by dense woods.
So imagine Abigail’s surprise and utter shock when Scottie shows up at the island resort where she and Bruce are honeymooning. The man catches Abigail alone and insists that their night together could be the beginning of something special and that the’s tracked her down to prove it to her. He’s confident that they are soulmates. In a panic, Abigail debates whether to ignore the man and risk him telling her husband about the affair or come clean with Bruce and risk putting not only her honeymoon but her entire marriage in jeopardy.
Then, the book makes a 180-degree turn and gets really, really dark. What we get is the mother of all twists, and it’s at this point where the story ends up being completely different than what I thought it was. Just when you think you’ve figured out the story, everything changes.
In fact, the atmosphere of the novel begins to feel totally unreal and dreamlike (and not in a good way), and my anxiety increased with each chapter. Right from their arrival on the island, there’s this intense sense of foreboding — a feeling that something’s not quite right.
The story veers from a happy honeymoon to extremely suffocating and claustrophobic, and Abigail’s vacation quickly spirals out of control. The eerie summer camp vibe also helped ratchet up the creep factor, which kind of gave it a Friday the 13th vibe to it. I’d say that it’s at this point where the story stops being a thriller and delves into horror territory.
I tend to especially enjoy stories that take place in isolated locations in which people are trapped, such as on yachts, at a resort during a snowstorm, or on an island, so the setting here was ideal for me. I also liked how resourceful and focused Abigail becomes as she’s forced to do whatever it takes once her situation escalates.
Though the story started out a tad slow, it ends up being quite a fast-paced adventure once the twist is revealed. There is virtually no let-up once this story starts moving along to an inevitable conclusion, and what we think is a stalker story turns out to be an adrenaline-fueled heart-pounding story of courage. I was on pins and needles the entire time.
And the resolution was absolutely bonkers! It was wild, far-fetched, and way, way out there, yet it worked for me. But really, you do have to suspend disbelief a bit and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Every Vow You Break ended up being a very disturbing examination of relationships, masculinity, and human nature with plenty of heart-in-your-throat moments in which you have no idea who to trust.
A compelling and cleverly plotted tale that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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