A Reliable Wife

By Robert Goolrick
Binding:Hardcover
Publisher:Algonquin Books, (3/31/2009)
Language:English



Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.33 out of 5 (9 Clubie's ratings)


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Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she's not the "simple, honest woman" that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man's devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt — a passionate man with his own dark secrets —has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.

With echoes of Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, Robert Goolrick's intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.
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SkinnyLinny's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:9/12/2012



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Silver's Reviews's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:9/17/2011

A lie from the first moment they met....Ralph knew she wasn't the girl he had placed an ad for.

But Catherine never thought twice about how she lied to this man she was going to marry and how her destitute life before Ralph made her such a phony…but the lying didn't even faze her.

Her life before Ralph Truitt was always in her blood and on her mind...the men, the late nights, the lights, the music. But she had to not let it interfere with her life as she knew it now. She pretended that her previous life never existed even though she longed for her old life style. She had to "play" the part of a reliable, demure wife who had no history.

Neither had been honest with each other. Both Ralph and Catherine had plans after the marriage took place, but her plans were not the same plans Ralph had for her. Too bad they were not on the same page.

Deceit, unfaithfulness, poison, a life that was a lie, regret, unbelievable forgiveness, and a hint of mystery.....that is what A RELIABLE WIFE was made of. And.......an incredible writing style that will keep you reading way into the night, and one you will not want to put down.



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Barbara's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:1/27/2011



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Bibliophile Schmibliophile's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:7/11/2009



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LILNVYGRL's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:5/20/2009

it was amazing.

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Isa's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:5/14/2009



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Ana B.'s thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:5/14/2009



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MariaM3827's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:5/7/2009

Awesome!

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Ibe May's thoughts on "A Reliable Wife"
updated on:4/27/2009

I loved the story and characters.

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"A Reliable Wife"
By Robert Goolrick

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.33 out of 5 (9 Clubie's ratings)


The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 
 
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 1907 Wisconsin, Goolrick's fiction debut (after a memoir, The End of the World as We Know It) gets off to a slow, stylized start, but eventually generates some real suspense. When Catherine Land, who's survived a traumatic early life by using her wits and sexuality as weapons, happens on a newspaper ad from a well-to-do businessman in need of a "reliable wife," she invents a plan to benefit from his riches and his need. Her new husband, Ralph Truitt, discovers she's deceived him the moment she arrives in his remote hometown. Driven by a complex mix of emotions and simple animal attraction, he marries her anyway. After the wedding, Catherine helps Ralph search for his estranged son and, despite growing misgivings, begins to poison him with small doses of arsenic. Ralph sickens but doesn't die, and their story unfolds in ways neither they nor the reader expect. This darkly nuanced psychological tale builds to a strong and satisfying close. (Mar.) 
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From Booklist
Goolrick twists a familiar story, refashioning it into something completely original. Many authors have employed the timeworn rural-man-advertises-for-mail-order-bride plot device, but few have permeated their narratives with gothic elements and suspense to such great effect. All is not as straightforward as it seems when Catherine Land steps off the train in rural Wisconsin in 1907. Who is Catherine, and what is her true intent? What shadowy secrets could middle-aged Ralph Truitt be hiding? Both these complex characters have plenty of traumatic baggage that is peeled away layer by layer as the two engage in a darkly dangerous game of check and checkmate. The unforeseen conclusion provides a big payoff for readers of this tension-laden debut from a promising new talent. --Margaret Flanagan 

Review

“After breaking through with a disquieting memoir . . . Goolrick applies his storytelling talents to a debut novel, set in 1907, about icy duplicity and heated vengeance. . . . A sublime murder ballad that doesn’t turn out at all the way one might expect.” —Kirkus, starred review

(Kirkus Review )

A Reliable Wife “generates some real suspense . . .This darkly nuanced psychological tale builds to a strong and satisfying close.” –Publishers Weekly

(Publishers Weekly )

“Goolrick twists a familiar story, refashioning it into something completely original. . . . Few have permeated their narratives with gothic elements and suspense to such great effect. . . . The unforeseen conclusion provides a big payoff for readers of this tension-laden debut from a promising new talent.”—Booklist

(Booklist ) 

Review
“I was totally captivated by A Reliable Wife. Raw and lyrical at the same time, Robert Goolrick’s wonderful novel grips the reader with its complex and beautiful story.”—Sandra Brown 
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Robert Goolrick lives in New York City.


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