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A Reliable Wife: When Passion turns to Poison [Kindle Edition]

Robert Goolrick
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description




Rural Wisconsin, 1907. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful industrialist, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement. But when Catherine steps of the train she's not the woman that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious. And, haunted by a terrible past, she is motivated by greed. Catherine's plan is simple. She will win Ralph's devotion. Later, she will leave him as a wealthy woman. What Catherine has not counted on however is that Ralph might have plans of his own for his new wife . . .

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Product Description

Book Description

* Ingenious and twisty, this is a story that will have the reader enthralled from first page to last

About the Author

Robert Goolrick is the author of the highly-acclaimed memoir The End of the World as We Know It. He lives in New York.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 579 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003CUDP0C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Savage and compelling story 10 Nov. 2009
I have just finished this book after starting it, and not being able to put it down, now 12 hours ago. I feel as if I have been changed by the reading of it, despite being unfamiliar with the time and place and location of the story: a snowbound Wisconsin, circa 1907. Not a time/place I am normally drawn to, but the story is beautifully paced and revealed by Mr. Goolrick. The shifting emotions of the central characters are savagely drawn, and compelling. It is a tale of destitution, disease, betrayal, loss, disappointment and hatred. Redemption and love are in there, too: such extremes of emotions, and what I would normally think of as histrionic, laughably exaggerated and off-putting. I prefer subtlety, and for reality to be drawn in more quiet shades. But this book held me and held me and held me. The interior and existential journeys each of the central characters takes never loses a sense of being grounded in the savage social and economic circumstances of the times. Turn of the century Illinois and Wisconsin were far from pleasant times, and we come to understand the psychic toil they took on the inhabitants of the times. Mr. Goolrick's writing helps, too. The longing Truitt expresses for Catherine in a single moment, and in the line "...he had felt that something in him would break forever if he didn't touch her." is so beautiful, and will stay with me for a long time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reliable Writer 17 Mar. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A Reliable Wife is the most gorgeously descriptive book I have read in a long time. You can imagine standing on the platform waiting for the train with the townsfolk looking on; the blinding brightness of the snow; the warmth of the bodies of the lovers; the grand decadent decay of the first wife's home.
This book seems to get off to a slow start, but much like the lovers it soon builds up to a blissful climax. With near-Gothic tendencies, Goolrick weaves his tale of Ralph Truitt and Catherine Lands in rural 1907 Wisconsin into the most beautiful cloth. Their passions, real and imagined, for each other and others are so real that you can nearly reach through the pages to touch them. I read A Reliable Wife in two sittings, and can highly recommend it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Trying too hard 12 Oct. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We are in Wisconsin in the very early 20th century. Ralph Truitt, a rich but lonely businessman with a haunted past, advertises for a wife a Chicago paper. Catherine reponds, and travels from Chicago to marry Ralph. But she is not what she seems. Slowly secrets, grudges and agendas are revealed.

To begin with I found this book hypnotic and smoky. The narration is poetic and slow, always turned towards the internal, private struggles of tortured minds. There is little dialogue and time seems disjointed, slow. There is a small cast and the tale is intriguing - Easy to follow, but devious and creepy. It begins as a page-turner, with secrets and twists revealed at just the right time.

But from about half-way through the book I started to find the tone grating and pretentious. Too many descriptions such as 'wanton nakedness', 'swarthy beards', and 'she was undone by grief'. There were too many glittering diamonds, oysters and champagne, dark silences and throbbing pulses.

Not only was the wording sometime embarrasingly trite, but the mental anguish of Ralph seemed utterly contrived. There was clumsy idea that he thought having sex with a woman might kill her which I still don't understand, and which was conveniently dropped as soon as he found a woman willing to 'do it' on a regular basis. The same goes for his obsession with his son, who is meant to be a broken man, the innocent product of abusive parents, but who instead comes across as spoilt and utterly unlikeable. The various characters reactions to events does not ring true, instead they are hugely out of proportion - More like the tantrums of drama queens than genuine, moving, human emotion.

But most tiresome of all was how everything - Literally everything - was centred around sex. Skin is on fire with passion on every page, bodices ripped and sheets soiled. Combined with the overbearing, flowery, emotional prose, it got boring very quickly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feverishly Good 9 Sept. 2011
By Veronica VINE VOICE
I loved this book. I found it deeply moving as well as a real page turner. The book focuses on characters who have made terrible mistakes that cannot be undone. Horrible things have been done to them and they have done horrible things to other people. I suppose that describes what happens to most of us, to a greater or lesser degree. I came to care very much for the three main characters, particularly Catherine and Ralph.

My favourite thing about the book was the beautiful descriptive language. It was incredibly evocative and passionate. Yes, the narrative is rather overwrought in places - but I believe the author was deliberately playing up this side of things and it worked perfectly for me. It created an atmosphere that was claustrophobic and sensual. It reminded me of how I felt when I read "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier: tense and edgy and desperate to turn the next page. The author certainly knows how to describe desire, obsession, guilt and suffering. The immense wealth of Ralph and his family was also brilliantly described. I felt like I was living through everything with the main characters, feeling their pain and sharing their fragile hopes. I also found the ending very satisfying and have re-read it a few times already.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Fabulous read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 4 months ago by Filomena
3.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.
Just ok. Wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it .
Published 9 months ago by margaret smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Does the end justify the means?
I got this book as an audiobook as I read a recommendation of the author Robert Goolrick. The narrator was good and would wish to hear another audiobook by him
It seemed like... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amelia
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
It took me a few hours to read this book because I couldn't put it down. I was gripped from the first page.
Published 20 months ago by Tidz
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reliable Wife
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - enjoyed the style of language and the way he put words together. A good story and I am about to order the next book R Goolrick has written.
Published on 15 Sept. 2013 by E Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, romantic story-Highly recommended!
I was recommended to buy the book by a very good male friend. I must say I loved it. The story is very interesting, with a few unexpected turns. Read more
Published on 14 Feb. 2013 by Eva
3.0 out of 5 stars Reliable Wife, rather unreliable text
The writing is lovely, and the story moves forward in a shifting series of internal descriptions of the three main characters. Read more
Published on 12 Aug. 2012 by Paul Harrison
3.0 out of 5 stars "Come home - he'll be good to you. He's good to me."
"Country businessman seeks reliable wife. Compelled by practical reasons. Reply by letter." Catherine, who replies to this unpromising notice in a Wisconsin newspaper, is not what... Read more
Published on 6 April 2012 by Eileen Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my usual choice of book
I came across this book par hazard in the library...initially thought I would be in for a long slow paced read if I continued but I'm glad I did persevere... Read more
Published on 29 Mar. 2012 by Sno-Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Find.
I can not remember how I managed to stumble upon this book but I'm glad I did. I'd say it might even make my top ten list - it certainly sits on the 'favorites' shelf in my... Read more
Published on 9 Mar. 2012 by Miss C. Thomson
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