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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Book Review: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

imageA Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick is a great novel. I read it in 2 days. The plot is a little bit dark, there’s a small mystery, an unanticipated twist and a satisfying ending.

Rural Wisconsin, 1909.

Successful iron and oil man Ralph Truitt has put out an advertisement for a reliable wife. He’s spent 20 years getting over his first wife, the death of his daughter and the estrangement of his son. Life is lonely and he has a glimmer of hope that a reliable wife will at least allow him some joy and a warm body to sleep beside.

Catherine Land arrives in the railcar that Truitt has sent to collect her. A tramp, a whore, a conniving wench. Catherine is not at all like the photo she sent (that’s because it’s not of her) nor is she all that Truitt expected. She is however more than he bargained for, and in a good way.

But he doesn’t realize that at first. The bitter cold of the Wisconsin winter means that he can’t leave her on the platform so he takes her home in order to figure out what to do. Catherine is playing her pious, reliable wife role really well but Truitt knows she’s a liar. He just doesn’t know to what extent.

A Reliable Wife is certainly a reliable read. There some gentle bodice ripping, betrayals and twists of fate and interlaced story lines. I think ultimately it’s a novel about love and forgiveness. Each character does some unforgiveable things only to realize in the end that they were loved despite their faults.

Oh and there’s a poisoning. But I don’t want to give too much away.

Browse Inside: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.

Have a look at A Reliable Wife on Scribd.com.

BookingMama has a much better review than I’ve been able to throw down in 5 minutes so please read more about the book here.

Thanks for this review.  I think I’ll pick this up for my upcoming airplane travel

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