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A Reliable Wife
A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
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 d...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781565125964
ISBN-10: 1565125967
Publication Date: 3/31/2009
Pages: 291
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 197 ratings
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 69
The reviews on the back of this book, "A glittering, poisoned ice cube of a tale", "Good to the riveting end...." made me wonder if authors have to pay people to write these things. In my opinion, this book was none of those things -- the end couldn't come soon enough. The plot was predictable, the characters unbelievable and the writing tiresome. The theme of sexual frustration woven throughout the book made me wonder if the author was working through some of his own issues. Rather than being "juicy," as touted in the reviews, the sexual tension was just redundant and cumbersome. In my opinion, save your money and spare your time. Reading this book is several hours of your life you'll never get back.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 36
Redundantly written. Has no historic value. (I know it is a novel). I was surprised that blizzards happen on Oct. 17 in Wisconsin and the ice is thick enough to support horses. Tsk. Tsk. Why Wisconsin was suppose to be so much bleaker than Chicago in winter is beyond me. I finished this book because I wanted to know what the ending was. This book is highly over-rated. It was given to me by a friend but was not really recommended. It was recommended to her. We are both still wondering why.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 34
I bought this on a recommendation from a worker at Border's and I am so glad I did. This was unlike anything I have ever read in a novel. This story deals with all the different manifestations of love. A beautiful and complex story, with unexpected twists and turns to the very surprising end. Robert Goolrick is surely an author whose books should be sought out and read.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 21
I was not a fan of this book and finished it only out of pure stubbornness. It is over written and redundant. The characters are contrived and contradictory. The story is unrelatable and unbelievable while at the same time being predicable. As other reviews have stated, I found the book cover to be misleading. I definitely would not recommend this book.
answerquest avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 197 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
A Reliable Wife is another one of those hope versus despair stories. A father takes out his grief over his wife's infidelities and eventual death on his innocent son. The son comes to hate the father and runs away when he is 14.

Later, the father advertises for a wife. The woman who answers has her own agenda. She is at best a liar. All prospects look dark, except the father's regret, which leads him to seek forgiveness.

This was a hard story to like. I found it very difficult to read although it was very well written and told. While I recommend it, I would caution not to read it if you are feeling down.
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reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 38 more book reviews
Inital premise sounded interesting. Wealthy man seeks mail-order "wife". We've read stories like this before. However, once I actually had the book in my hands and began to read, I was bored silly by the author's tone and pacing with regard to Ralph Truitt. This is what ruined it for me. The idea that two people enter into a heavily sexual relationship doesn't bother me; stilted, bad writing does.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Intriguing story that I couldn't put down. Book was in great condition.
canadya avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Great book! Very surprising!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 11 more book reviews
"A Reliable Wife" is an interesting story told in a relatively uninteresting way. It boils down to writing style. For my tastes, there is too much third person dispassionate description for the storyline and the characters all appear to have the same personality traits. Still, I read the book in two evenings so it couldn't have been too bad.
vonita avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 58 more book reviews
This book had a surprising ending & a few twists throughout the book. It was a little slow to start. Once the story progressed, it was hard to put the book down. It was a great read.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 1113 more book reviews
It's very hard for me to give a numerical rating to this book because it was incredibly well written (5) but its characters were almost universally unlikable (2) and the topic named by the author himself is "just a story about despair." If you're looking for good writing and don't mind harsh landscapes and traumatic early beginnings for every character you'll love this. If you want an easy happy read for the beach, save it for later.
justbucky avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 17 more book reviews
Excellent Read. Highly Recommend.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 24 more book reviews
Its not a book I would generally read but Id heard so much about it that I waited patiently for it to become available on PBS. It was worth the wait! It is a dark, sexual, and deceitful plot for sure. It was a great weekend read. I loved how every page I read the plot thickened and pulled me even further in. I recommend this book to someone with an open mind. Ive read many reviews and they are all over the place. I really liked it and gave it a 3.5 stars.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
Very odd story, almost a who done it with all it's twists and turns.

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Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Ralph Truitt (Primary Character)
Catherine Land (Primary Character)
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