The tag team of Prah and Constantine are back for another book review. This month Constantine chose A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. Head over to Catherine's blog after reading mine. I can’t wait to see what she thought.
I’m confused about what to write about this book. In many respects I thought it was a good book, but I can’t say I loved it. It was one of those in between books where sometimes It was imperative that I continue reading because I was so enthralled, while at other times I had to make myself read. The majority of time the book was engaging.
Mr. Goolrick sure does know how to weave a story. Even after reading the blurb I thought, ‘Oh my.’ And I kept saying those words throughout the book. The setting and characters seemed so real. I kept wondering why Catherine was doing the things she did, even though her back-story was traumatic and clearly told, I could not relate to her. At one point I called her stupid, because I couldn’t understand why she continued with her actions. I learned to respect the changes that came about in her, but I honestly can’t say that I liked her, well maybe a little bit at the end.
Ralph baffled me too. For me it was like one of those poor little rich boy situations. I thought his story was interesting and the life he had lived was enviable, at least up until twenty years ago. At one point in the story I didn’t understand why he was so weak when it came to Catherine. I’m still shaking my head about that.
Mr. Goolrick has a descriptive writing style, but at the same time it’s choppy. Almost curt. It kind of reminds me of poetry, only in story form. He likes to elaborate and gives just a little more information than I thought was necessary. To me the story was not romantic, but instead sexual, without being overly graphic. I thought the way he wrote his sex scenes was brilliant.
I would recommend A Reliable Wife, especially if you are looking for something ‘different’ with great writing.
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.