A Reliable Wife: Book summary and reviews of A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

A Reliable Wife

By Robert Goolrick

A Reliable Wife
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Mar 2009,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

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.

Published in hardcover: March 2009
Published in paperback: January 2010

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"This darkly nuanced psychological tale builds to a strong and satisfying close." - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred 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 Reviews.

"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.

The information about A Reliable Wife shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Julie
Amazing!
I was drawn into this bk quickly, and could visualize it so easily! I was surprised to find the twists and turns to be so original! I would love to see this made into a movie!

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Suzanne G.
So many results by readers
A Reliable Wife leaves much unanswered. Many things happen and the logic with the decisions made on these plans by the characters create such a frustration while reading, that I wanted to slam the book down and forget it. But I didn’t—and finished—still with a lot of questions. The basic premise of the plot may have its theories, but I couldn’t agree with them. A crazy book.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Lynn
A stunning book
This book has it all. Well defined characters, interesting time and place, suspense, and finally, a dramatic build up to a stunning ending. I am still thinking about the ending of this story a week after I finished the book. Even though the main characters have major baggage and are not what they seem, I found them sympathetic. At different points in the story, I was switching from being "for" one character and "against" the other. Now, there are 2 items I need to bring to your attention. First, while I am no prude, there was a great deal of sex in this book. Most of it was "thinking about sex", but it was a constant theme throughout the story. Second, I think I have heard a version of this story before. Not sure if that is my imagination or if this is a revision of a previous story line. Anyway, I was still surprised at the several plot twists--and there were lots of them.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Information

More Information

This is Goolrick's first novel following his memoir The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life (2007). For background material including an author interview and book club discussion guide please visit www.reliablewife.net

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  133Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.