A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Author:  Robert Goolrick
Pages:  291
Genre:  Fiction
Source:  Purchased
He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for "a reliable wife." She responded, saying that she was "a simple, honest woman." She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving her a wealthy widow, able to take care of the one she truly loved.

What Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own. And what neither anticipated was that they would fall so completely in love.

Filled with unforgettable characters, and shimmering with color and atmosphere, A Reliable Wife is an enthralling tale of love and madness, of longing and murder. [via GoodReads]
I must admit that the synopsis for this book was what intrigued me.  I'm quite fascinated by the time period it's set in (early 1900s). but at the same time I was never quite sure whether or not I would actually like the story.  Well let me say, that I was quite surprised.  I actually enjoyed this story much more than I thought I would.

While the story itself revolves around characters whose pasts have left them all miserable, struggling with their present lives and looking for ways to atone for their sins - quite frankly, none of them (Catherine, Ralph nor Antonio) were likeable.  Yet I found myself rooting for them... hoping that they would find some hope in this cold and dark, gothic tale.

When Ralph places an advertisement for "a reliable wife" - Catherine responds that she is "a simple, honest woman."  Exactly what he's looking for - yet she's nothing like what he expected.  Catherine has her own agenda... marry Ralph and then kill him.  Simple, tidy and no one would be the wiser... but she didn't expect Ralph to marry her and quickly ship her off in search of his long lost son Antonio.  

Mr. Goolrick's writing is compelling from the first page.  I found that the descriptions of the bitter cold and desolate Wisconsin countryside gave this dark story the perfect atmosphere. The story itself was tense and engaging with a few surprising twists that I did not see coming.  

Full of betrayal, bitterness and the hope of love and forgiveness - I simply could not put this one down.

My Rating:


Rebecca Rasmussen said...

I can't believe I still haven't read this one!!! Now I have to :) Great review!!!

Lisa said...

I love the last line of your review. You definitely know how to sum everything up and make the book sound intriguing. I've heard good things about this book, in fact a couple of months ago my cousin recommended this book to me. She also said that it was hard to put down.

Teresa said...

This one has been on my list for awhile. I think I'm going to have to make it a priority!

Anonymous said...

Awesome review!! I bought this last year, can you believe it and still have not picked it up...its like everytime Im at a bookstore or Costco (blasted Costco and your discount prizes) I have to pick 3 or 4 books...and they sit for a few years before I can even pick them up...;D

carla said...

Haven't even heard of this one before, sounds good!

Jennifer said...

The synopsis certainly intrigued me. And I love the cover. Great review. If I can find space in my reading list, this one will surely find a spot.

Jennifer | Mrs Q Book Addict said...

I've had this one on my wishlist for awhile. I love the cover, and the book synopsis. Great review!

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