A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Amazon Review: Set in 1907 Wisconsin, Goolrick’s fiction debut, 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.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
My Review: Such things happen. A common phrase throughout the novel. Although, very matter of fact, the authors words were hardly that. At first, I was taken aback by the raw words of sexuality, but as reviews promised, I was in for some “twists and turns”. As much as I thought I wasn’t loving the story or the characters (which I still have some judgement against), I also finished it in 3 days. And when I did finish, I said
to my cats outloud “wow”. The characters are full of psychological struggles that you are privy to, but the people surrounding them are not. I enjoyed Catherine’s inner struggle with greed and love and in the end, love was able to make her feel as if she had been transformed – and isn’t that what we all want just a little bit? Greedy for love, I guess. And greedy to be able to be consumed into a different world for a couple of hours a night, which is why I’m already thinking about my next book and the one after that. A Reliable Wife, provides reliable thrills and I would highly recommend the escape.
Next up… The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (for my mom’s bookclub because I’ll be in CO for it!!!)
**I was not asked to, or compensated for, writing this book review.