My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Title: A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Books (April 2009)
Hardcover: 291 pages
Source: Library Book
Available on: Amazon
Total: 86/100 = of 5 stars
Description from GoodReads:
"Abandoning her worldly life, traveling to a remote Wisconsin town in the dead of winter, trusting her future to a man she had never met - such was Catherine Land's new beginning. But there was an ending in sight as well, an ending that would redeem the treachery ahead, justify the sacrifice, and allow her to start over yet again. That was her plan." "For Ralph Truitt, the wealthy businessman who had advertised for "a reliable wife," this was also to be a new beginning. Years of solitude, denial, and remorse would be erased, and Catherine Land, whoever she might be, would be the vessel of his desires, the keeper of his secrets, the means to recover what was lost. That was his plan." Set just after the turn of the twentieth century, A Reliable Wife is the story of these two people, each plagued by a heart filled with anger and guilt, each with a destiny in mind. But neither anticipates what develops between them - the pent-up longings that Catherine discovers in this enigmatic man and the depth of her own emotional response; the joy Ralph experiences in giving Catherine the luxuries she has never known, his growing need for her, and a desire that he thought was long buried."Plot: Good: A story of passion, murder, madness that is a joy to read. A psychological driven tale with predictable twist and turns but non the less entertaining.
Setting: 1907, wintry Wisconsin was a good setting for this story.
Writing: Good: I loved the Gothic feel of this novel. Bad: It had too much of an erotic undertone for my taste.
Characters: Good: Ralph is a perverted, lusty, lonely man and Catherine is a manipulative, and murderous woman. Yet, despite the fact that they are both liars, I couldn't help wanting them to be happy and together. Bad: I would have liked a little more elaboration on the crazy citizens of the town.
Creativity: Not the most original story but still a good read.
Cover Art: I read the Hardcover, with the snowy trees cover and didn't like it. However, the paperback cover I saw later was amazing. I think that the faceless women in the red dress standing on the snow with a train in the background gives a wonderful preview of what the book is about.
Romance: It is not your average good girl meets prince charming, it's more like Wuthering Heights.
Overall: A good book for lovers of Gothic literature you just have to get over the author constantly thinking about sex.
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