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Book Reviews of A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife
A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
ISBN-13: 9781565129771
ISBN-10: 1565129776
Publication Date: 1/26/2010
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 1078

3.2 stars, based on 1078 ratings
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

183 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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.
esjro avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 899 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
A Reliable Wife tells the stories of a wealthy but lonely business man Ralph Truitt, and Catherine Land, a wife he obtains through the personal ads. I say "stories" because although much of the book chronicles their evolving relationship, both characters have back stories and reasons for entering into a marriage of practicality.

Though the description on the dusk jacket implies that this will be a tale of romance warm enough to melt the Wisconsin snow that is persistent throughout the story, A Reliable Wife is a much darker and complicated tale. It is about deception, desperation, and cruelty, but ultimately also about love and redemption. This debut novel by Robert Goolrick is a quick read, but the characters will remain in your thoughts after the startling conclusion.
Kristalo avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I couldn't read this book. It was too full of insanity and sex images for me to get past page 60. I hope someone else can enjoy it.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Two words: erotic and morose. A book that is popular to recommend but definitely not for everyone. The sexuality is overwhelming - maybe that's your thing and maybe it isn't. The story is about the tension of revenge vs. reconciliation, and a woman-with-a-past is caught between those two forces. At times, I could predict where the plot was going, but overall, a complex enough style to keep me riveted. Kept me up late into the night to finish it and left me dwelling on the characters.
perryfran avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 1160 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This was a quick read that really kept my interest. Even though I didn't really like any of the characters in the story, I was constantly finding out something new about each complex character as the story progressed. Their lives and often deceptive actions kept me totally engrossed. All of the characters had sordid secrets to hide and during the novel you weren't always sure what was truth and what was fiction. Very fascinating read that kept you guessing on the outcome up until the very end. Would recommend this one!
TarynC avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 213 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I couldnt put this book down. It was very dark and sad, exploring a part of human nature that many of us dont want to confront or believe exists. The end surprised me. I would definately recommend this book for a long plane ride or when you really need to be engaged and transported to another world.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 6
I found nothing redeeming about this book. I didn't like any of the characters, didn't feel any sympathy for their individual plights, and didn't care what happened to them in the end. I only finished the book because I kept waiting for it to live up to some of the reviews I'd heard from friends, but I was sorely disappointed. Ugh...don't waste your time with this dreary novel.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 286 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I thought this was a terrible book; I didn't even finish it. Thank goodness I didn't pay full price for it, it would be a waste of time and money.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I got 100 pages into the book and gave up on it. There are whole chapters solely about how this guy wants to sex with his soon to be wife and how he wants her naked and "writhing on the floor". Some sexuality in a book is good but this takes it too far, it's to the point where its trashy and the author sounds like a boy dreaming about sex. Would not recommend this book.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
** spoiler alert ** God, this was an awful book. I would not even give it one star. It has such promise based on the book jacket and the blurbs - mail order bride, serial killer, plot twists - and it fails to deliver on every single point. The plot is total nonsense; there are no plot twists; and the character's behavior is completely unbelievable. I hated the ending so much that I wrote several alternate endings. If you inted to read the book, despite my warning, read no further as there are spoilers ahead. If you also read it, and cannot believe that it actually got as much press as it has, maybe you will enjoy my alternate endings:
Alternate Ending Number 1: Antonio doesnt just wound Catherine he kills her, and Ralph walks in just as her lifeless body hits the floor. He attacks his son and the two struggle for a while, drawing the attention of Mrs. Larsen. She runs and gets a kitchen knife, but by the time she gets back, Ralph is dead also, laying on the floor at the feet of a weeping Antonio. Mrs. Larsen plunges the knife into Antonios back, and watches him sink to his knees. She exits the room, wiping her hands on her apron.

Alternate Ending Number 2: Ralph feels really guilty about killing Antonio, and blames it on Catherine. He cant stand the idea that she will inherit everything, so he waits until she has given birth a boy - and then kills her, claiming that she died in childbirth. Now he will raise the child who is innocent and will inherit his entire estate. To make sure the child has proper values, he burns the villa and moves back with his son to the little farmhouse.

Alternate Ending Number 3: Mrs. Larsen cannot believe her eyes Mr. Truitt has forgiven this harlot who tried to kill him. She loses all respect for him, and poisons them both one evening by serving them tainted clams. They die of food poisoning, and she watches them writhe in agony, while she sits in a rocking chair, saying, Hows my tasty food now?

Alternate Ending Number 4: It turns out that Ralph Truitts first wife never died. Ralph brought her back from Chicago and imprisoned her in the attic of the villa where she has gone mad. She creeps around in the attic, listening to the activities that are going on below her. She reveals herself to Antonio when he returns and Antonio tells her to stay in the attic until he has killed Ralph. She overhears Catherine talk about taking over her garden, and hears that Catherine is pregnant, and decides that she does not want to wait any longer. Just at the moment that she comes to that conclusion, Antonio begins his struggle with Catherine. She comes out from a hidden bookcase and kills Catherine herself. While Antonio is trying to decide what to do with Catherines body, Ralph comes in, and the first wife kills him as well. Antonio inherits everything, and sells everything in the estate and then moves with his mother to Italy where she regains her sanity and he meets a lovely and wholesome native girl who restores his purity and they live happily ever after.

Alternate Ending Number 5: Catherine survives the attack, and watches Antonio die in the lake. This is working out just great, she thinks. She continues to pretend that she loves Ralph and that they will live happily ever after, but really, she is just biding her time. She waits until she gives birth to a girl, and then she poisons Ralph one evening with a massive dose of poison to make it look like a heart attack. She sells everything and moves to Palm Beach, Florida with her daughter so that she will never see snow again.

Alternate Ending Number 6: Ralph Truitt and Mrs. Larsen have been lovers since his return from Europe. They are both crazy as bedbugs, and have lured dozens of girls to Wisconsin with the advertisement in the newspaper, and tortured and killed each of them. Then they cook and eat their body parts, feeding some of the pieces to the new arrivals as part of their insane plans. Ralphs first wife was their first victim, and they killed her in front of Antonio who has blocked the horrific memory from his conscious mind. But upon his return to the villa, he slowly begins to remember flashes of the murder. Antonio realizes the depth of his love for Catherine and tries to lure his father away from killing Catherine by providing his father with other possible victims, such as the local girl that he brought to dinner, but it is clear that Ralph cannot be dissuaded from killing and having Mrs. Larsen cook Catherine. Antonio sends Catherine away to keep her safe, and then kills his father and Mrs. Larsen one evening during a blizzard by trapping them outside until they die of exposure. While he watches them freeze, he enjoys a nice hot bowl of broth that Mrs. Larsen had been cooking before he trapped them outside. The next day he goes to remove their frozen bodies to the ice house and when he drags them in their he finds Catherines mutilated body. When he realizes what was in the broth that he ate the night before, he runs howling out of the ice house onto the frozen lake where he falls through the ice and drowns.

Alternate Ending Number 7: Several weeks after Antonios death, when things are just getting back to normal, the doorbell rings in the afternoon when Ralph is at work. Catherine answers it and a lovely woman stands at the door. She is Catherines mother who was not actually dead. She asks Catherine where her sister is. Catherine explains that her sister is probably dead by now, and her mother listens, appalled as Catherine describes her sisters condition and the hovel where she was living. Catherine concludes the story by telling her about how she handed her sister some money and her coat and then walked out, leaving her sister to die alone, cold and hungry and in pain. Her mother is shocked and puts a small derringer from her purse and shoots Catherine as revenge for her beloved younger daughters death. Then she leaves. Ralph returns after work to find Catherine near death in the parlor. Catherine explains that she deserves to die because she always hated her sister who was such a goody-goody and couldnt even manage to be a half-way decedent prostitute. Then she dies in Ralphs arms.

Alternate Ending Number 8: It turns out that Ralphs father never died. He faked his death to get Ralph to return from Europe. He hated Ralphs new wife, and her Eye-tal- yan ways so he did not tell Ralph that he was still alive. After Ralphs wife ran off with the piano teacher, he tracked her down and killed her. Then he returned, grew a beard and began to pose as Mr. Larsen. He became disillusioned with Ralph, who thought about sex all the time, and then went so far as to advertise for a new wife from Chicago instead of marrying one of the lovely, wholesome Wisconsin girls from town. Ralphs father got really annoyed when he had to shoot his favorite horse because Ralph was such a horses ass and insisted on taking a flimsy carriage to the station to pick up Catherine despite the forecast of a snow. He waited and waited, not wanting to confront his son, but when Mrs. Larsen told him that Catherine was pregnant, he realized that his entire fortune would be in danger of passing to the child of a degenerate strumpet. Ralphs father shaved off his beard and met Ralph as he approached the house where Catherine and Antonio were struggling. Ralph was so relieved to see his father and embraced him, and told him that he would mend his ways and get rid of Catherine and start over. The two men entered the house together, and killed Catherine and Antonio, and buried their bodies. Ralphs father decided it was easier to continue to pretend to be Mr. Larsen, and, besides, he had grown fond of Mrs. Larsen. Ralph married a local widow with two children and moved them into the villa where
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A Gothic thriller and bodice ripper with a truly surprising twist at the end.

Ralph Truitt, is the wealthiest man in town, a widower of 20 solitary years. Ralph requisitioned a mail-order bride through a classified ad. When the prim and proper bride-to-be arrives she isn't what she appears to be and off we go for a thrilling ride.
bellasgranny avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 468 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I can't say that I understand all the hype that this book has generated. Maybe it's the sex, sex and more sex. Characters you don't care about, boring and repetitive, don't waste your time.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Characters never came to life for me, and I thoroughly disliked both of the leading ones. The book is heavy on description, light on dialogue, and the writing style is often distant and inflated. I kept plowing through it until I got three quarters of the book read, and then gave up. I almost never fail to finish a book, even ones I don't like much, so that is a real sign...I must be missing something. I don't know how this ended up on the bestseller list.
knitter avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was the 'leader" today for my book club and this is the book I chose after reading it. As I expected, the members either really liked it or hated it. I chose it because the characters are so strongly presented, the writing is lyrical, and the plot has all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. There is a LOT of sex in the book. Before I allowed anyone to comment on the book I read aloud some biographical material on the author which added much to the discussion and helped explain why the author wrote this book. There is also a short video on the web of the author reading some comments he wrote about the book.
rubberducky avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A decent, engrossing read, but it's really not anything unique. It's a little bit Michael Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip (which Goolrick cites as the inspiration), and a lot Cornell Woolrich's Waltz Into Darkness, which inspired the 2001 film Original Sin with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. If you're acquainted with any of these works, you'll be in familiar territory here.
Just cutting to the chase - the storyline is predictable and the ending a little unsettled. It's not wholly without merit, however. Goolrick's prose is very vivid, but somewhat repetitious at times, and I found myself skimming a little too frequently. There are no admirable characters here to identify with & care about, so the overall feel of this book is one of voyeurism; watching them wreak havoc on each other & generally make a muck of their lives, and the ending more a trailing off, or closing of the curtain, than a resolution. I gave it a B-.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 3
My book club choose this book because it sounded so good on the back cover and of course the front cover looked interesting too. It just goes to show you can't judge... None of us ended up liking it. The main character was obsessed with sex and NOT in a good way. It was kind of hard to follow his thought process. I didn't come to like any of the characters. I found the whole book to be a bit depressing. It was a big disappointment.
Ghostlady avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A very dark tale of 3 people with monstrous demons of their own and the coming together at the end to decide who wins over their demons, who is capable of forgiveness and who is not. There is nothing happy in this book, just misery and despair. It shows what real life can do to some. I thought the book was excellent and give a thumbs up to the author for writing something refreshing different. If you like happy books, this one is not for you. But if you like the dark tale and a psychological thriller, be sure to read this. I will be on the lookout for his next book - Harbor of Love.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is an awful book - poorly written, absurd plot. The only reason it sold so well was b/c of a great pr agent.
I have posted it, but don't waste your time.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 3
Well-written but Ralph Truitt's thoughts and actions were not believable.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 132 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The writings on this book sounded so good, I had to order it. Not like the review at all. It's very dark & troubling & not a feel good love story. Extremely sexual be warned. Had to finish it to see what happens,.Does have some suspense in it. Id' only rate this a 2. Hope someone else enjoys it more than I did.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Feel I was misled about this book by the Borders.com hype. Couldn't continue past the first couple of chapters. If you like characters who are ruled by their base urges and who use sex as a weapon, this is the book for you.
catk avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a great book. The story had many twists and turns, and kept me guessing all the way through. I liked the character's development and loved the ending of it. Definitely recommend it.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Enjoyable read although some parts are quite predictable. On the surface none of the characters seem very likeable but by the end of the book I came to understand and like each of them. Enough twists and turns to the plot to keep you turning the pages. Great reading on a rainy day.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This has to be the most sensual book I have ever read. My book club recently read this book and all the members felt the same way. It is not overtly sexual at all. Amazing that a man wrote this! Your heart goes out to the characters and their incredible lives. You can read this in 2 days because you can't put it down.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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 + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Compared to "Rebecca"? Really? Are you kidding me? Don't believe the lies. Read it if you want, but not because of what it is being compared to.
23dollars avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 432 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was the December 2012 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

I really can't believe how little I cared about these characters or what happened to them. The story was just wash, rinse, repeat with an endless cycle of whining, complaining and justifying by the one-note characters, Catherine, Ralph, and Antonio....and they were all tepid idiots. Hardly people you want to spend 300 pages with.

And the author really lost me about 13 chapters in when the reader is manipulated in such an amateur and haphazard fashion! It's like the author just got the idea for a twist right then and tossed it in about 145 pages into the story. It felt extremely contrived and manipulative.

But let's not forget some of the yuck factors. For example - there's a scene where someone's kiss is compared to slippery oysters or some nonsense like that....and the book was full of sex, sex, and more sex....only without the sensuality the author seems to think was there! You just end up feeling you need a shower.

So if you enjoy being gerrymandered by an author, and/or reading about hollow, vapid characters who think about sex, money, death and very little else, you may enjoy this book. Otherwise, I'd say skip it and find something that respects your intelligence a bit more. I give this one a D.
momof3boysandagirl avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was so supremely disappointed in this book. The story had such promise. If it had been written by someone less obsessed with page after page after page of sexual tension it might have developed into something worth reading. As it was it took me all the way to page 150 to find something I was truly interested in. I got my hopes up and read the other half of the book. I have never not finished a book and I wish this had been my first.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book kept me looking forward to bedtime- my reading time. It is a unique story, told well and without holding back. If you are squeamish or looking for tales of well-behaved folks- this is not a book for you!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Quick read. I enjoyed this book and read it through in 2 days. There were a few surprises but I found the end at least partially predictable. Also I think there was a medical/scientific fallacy about the poison. All in all I would recommend it for anyone just wanting to spend a pleasant few hours with some interesting characters.
snowglow avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
This is captivating but too bleak for my taste and more than a little creepy. I don't think I'd want to know the author.
sm avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this was an interesting book. A lot of parts really surprised me but the main characters, Ralph & Catherine, were very conplex. Just when I thought I had them figured out, there was another change.

I have to say I enjoyed this book. I hated Antonio-especially at the end when he was so darn hateful and really hurt the only two people in the world who loved him.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book. I found myself caring about the two main characters even though they weren't very nice people.
elissaslibrary avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was one of the oddest books I've ever read. It very much reminded me of the Luxe young adult series, although a bit more adult and sinister, but the same general tone, plot and theme. I wouldn't recommend it.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I picked this book up two for three at Barnes & Noble. Racy, not romantic, not seductive at all. Predictable plot and narrow, one dimensional characters: the faithful husband and the adulterous wife. Conflict and characters are told by narration, little dialogue. Not even historically accurate of Chicago or Wisconsin, 1908. A disappointment all around.
mum2gabe avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book had great promise and for the first 2 chapters I couldnt put it down but it went pretty much downhill after that. What is the deal with seriously overrated books lately? I had high expectations for this book with all of the attention and great reviews it has gotten, but I was extremely disappointed. I kept reading simply to find out what happened, but found it painfully hard to get through. This is a morbid book with much too much repetitive narration. I found it droned on and on with too much whining and not enough substance or excitement to the plot. Random events/characters pop up seemingly for no reason as they are never mentioned again! I only finished it to find out how it ended and while it concluded as I would have hoped given the surreal storyline, in my opinion it lacked luster and was too predictable. I wouldnt recommend this book unless you want to waste a week of your life reading a depressing story filled with flat and unlikable characters.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book. I like the way Goolrick writes; it's sort of old-fashioned but not hard to understand and very fluid and elegant. I thought it was ever so slightly anti-climactic but still a very good story and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
beckars avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is nearly identical to the movie "Original Sin" yet it was written nearly a decade after the movie was in theaters. How this author is not sued for plagarism is beyond me.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The back jacket and review excerpts convinced me to pick up this book as a vacation beach read. I should have chosen something else - I couldn't disagree more with some of the "raves". The characters weren't developed well at all, yet were so predictable and the 'twists and turns' referenced in reviews could be seen coming chapters in advnace. Also, the writing itself was fragmented and awkward which disrupted the flow of the story. The plot itself was choppy, jumping around seemingly without purpose.

It was an interesting idea for a story...it had components that were less than original (the scheming wife and husband with a hidden agenda) but were presented in new ways with themes of sexual frustration, morals and changes of heart.

In the end it was a decent story that was completely ruined by the authors awful writing.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Yeah, this book isn't that good. There's only so many times I can read about detailed sexual encounters. It gets really old, really fast. The characters are interesting, but the plot is pretty transparent. I completely agree with one of the other reviewers though. Seems like Mr Goolrick has some sexual issues that he's acting out in his book. Makes me think the guy needs to hire his own prostitute or spend a little more time in the shower. :-D
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
Everything in this book is about sex. It's strange.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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 + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I did not enjoy this book. It was depressing and seemed to have same theme throughout the book....I only finished it so that I could find out what happened in the end....I did like the ending...however, it wasn't worth the time I spent getting there.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book, great character development. Recommend for quick read, because you won't want to stop!
ourbookaddiction avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
I found myself unable to stop reading this book. I almost felt mesmerized. I read until late when I fell asleep with the book on my chest and awoke early and started reading again until I finished. The book jacket really does not describe the book justly.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Bravo!! There is an interview with the author at the end of this book. In it, the author writes, "I wanted to give readers a good solid story and reading experience that is as sensual as it is cerebral." Yes you did Mr. Goolrick! I couldn't stop reading. This is unlike anything I have ever read and I couldn't stop. The setting gives a quiet building to the plot. The surprises unfold in a gentle way rather than in sock it to ya punches. I found this added to the despair expressed by the characters because of their choices in life. When the repressed rage finally escapes it's confinement the relief is evident and healing. Life goes on in a different way. This is my first Robert Goolrick book, I will be reading more.
my2luvsemmyandmally avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 758 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Could not finish this book.....I LOVED "REBECCA" and even named my daughter after that book so I really have no idea why they compare this book to "Rebecca" !!! Nothing at all like that book and doesn't compare in any way! Normally I force my way thru a book to get to the end.......did not want to waste my time with this one! Sorry! Just my opinion as to what I look for in a good book.
jazzysmom avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This read has received lots of reviews, some good, some not so good. I loved the book. I orginally picked it up as i live 12 mins from Wisc. and i found it most interesting. It is a love, lust & lies, suspenseful, murder plotting,and engrossing story. There are many twists and turns and it sucks you into the plot before you know what has happened. The author has a smooth touch with words, but with lots of tension and page turning twists. The ending was a big surprise. Worth my time and i'd read it again someday.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well written. Good emotion. Detailed R-rated description. Hard to buy the redemption at the end, though, without an unflawed redeemer.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
This is not what I expected but actually a much more complex novel than I thought it would be.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow, you have to wonder what all the hype is about. The whole time I felt like I had read this book before and that it had been better written; you could see the "plot twists" coming a mile away. School boy fantasies about sex going on and on--the fantasies, not the sex. The really sad thing is that there is probably a great book out there that got rejected because the publisher chose this one instead.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting twists and turns. A good read. Moves quickly.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
A big disappointment after this writer's memoir, "The End of the World as We Know It," which was excellent. I didn't think this was good at all.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful book for a book club as questions are found in the back. The characters in the book are well developed. I have recommended this book to many of my friends all but one have really enjoyed it. The one that did not, did not believe the characters in the book would have responded the way they did, as they would in real life...hence the discussion and the dilemma. Surprising tale, woman answers an ad in a newspaper with hidden agenda and the man that placed the ad has an agenda of his own. Read to find out what each wanted.

I found the author Goolrick's twists and turns in the plot very interesting and surprising.

A reader's guide and other special features are found inside.
catbookmom avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Another book club selection, not my own. Didn't finish it.
Liztonlady avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Be aware this is not a Christian literature book! I didn't notice that and I am 71
and while reading it, I know I blushed! I kept reading though as it gets your
attention and I wanted to know how it was going to end. It was not my favorite by far
but it does keep your interest.
kaylamariet avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
No a fan of this book. To many descriptions and repetition. This 300 page book could've been edited down in to 100.
jannymarie avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book to be very disappointing. As it was all about deception. I two was deceived. Because the description of the book lead one to believe it would be an uplifting story. When in fact it was very disturbing.
I had to force myself to finish it. If I had known what I was getting into that would have been fine. But I felt lied to. Worst of all this book put me in a very bad mood while reading it. I do have to give credit for the fact that it was well written, flowed well and did draw you in.
briana808 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting, dark read. Very sexually charged at times. I like how the book flowed and how the characters continually unraveled themselves. I would recommend reading this one, just for something different. I've never read anything like this before.
paradoxdefined avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Slow moving at times, but when this book picks up, it really picks up! Vivid scenery and complex characters fuel this sensual book with its Romantic Era undertones.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i thought this book was very interesting. i had not heard anything about it, just reviews on amazon. i looked forward to climbing in bed every night to read it. that's how i rate a book. do i look forward to reading it everyday, and i did with this one. i would encourage anyone who just wants a good story, told very well, to read it.
kalypso avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Really enjoyed this book although it is pretty dark. It has some beautiful, moving passages that will probably stay with me forever.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book is interesting. It is a little slow in the beginning so it took me a while to get into it. The book has numerous twists and turns that keep you guessing what is going to happen next. Overall a good book. FYI - There are several sexual references in the book.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
dark, no too well written, bodice ripper. ok for light read but none of the characters are very likable people. not sure why it is so popular!
readinginmysleep avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a quick read with an interesting story line. I thought the author dwelled a little to long on Truit's wants. I didn't need to read 3 pages of what he is thinking about to get the point. Other than that I enjoyed the twists and turns.
justreadingabook avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 1705 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a odd book! This has a really weird storyline and I mean that in a twisted weird way. You are drawn into reading and you have to continue to find out what in the world is going to happen. A good read.
jtrivino81 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is not my typical book of choice but I read this out of curiosity. There are some very developed characters in this book and that really helps to get a great point of view from each character. I completely understand the actions of each character though I didn't necessarily agree on how they reacted.

There is some jumping around and surprises here and there but over all a good read.

I am glad it didn't turn out the way I expected or the way mail order brides typically end up doing. No surprise ending considering the character of the husband. I think he's the reliable one.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not what I expected at all from reading the tagline on the back of the book, but well-written. Ralph Truitt is wealthy beyond imagination, but completely devoid of love. He lives in rural Wisconsin which apparently is filled with insanity, suicide and murder. He advertises for a reliable wife and chooses Catherine. As it turns out they each have their own agenda for this marriage. Many plot twists and turns. One interesting note on his writing style - it's unlike most fiction written today, it's almost a Russian literary style. The narrator moves from one character point-of-view to another from paragraph to paragraph, the true omniscient narrator which is so rarely done these days and so rarely well pulled-off as Goolrick does. Well done.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. Stories of redemption are my personal favorite. Goolrick's imagery is amazing and the characters he writes are so three dimensional. I felt sympathetic to all three of the main characters at one time or another, which for me is what makes a read juicy. When a book gets under my skin and makes me care about it's characters (and even feel empathy for them); that's what keeps me turning the pages.
MaGee avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am of mixed opinions about this book. There is an interesting twist to the story that I nearly missed because I wasn't going to finish the book. However, I was in a circumstance where I had nothing else to read. The ending was satisfactory.

Robert Goolrick writes well. That being said, he writes too much. Goolrick spends to much time writing about the dark and sordid side of the characters and life in general. I found myself skimming and even skipping pages just to get on with the story.

Had I read this at a different time, I may have liked it better.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This story really drew me in. Could not read it fast enough.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this book was pretty sick in theme and quite unbelievable. Characters are wild beyond imagination.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 144 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A very good book.The conclusion is great. Enjoy, and this book will make you pick it up time after time until it is finished.
Gr8Smokies avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 98 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A dark book completely fixed on sexual obsession. I suppose that it is a testament to the writer that none of the characters were either all bad or all good--and while I felt some sympathy for nearly all of them, I didn't like them.

The story centers around Ralph Truitt, a very wealthy man, living in frozen Wisconsin around the turn of the century. He places an ad in a newspaper that asks for a "reliable wife". What he gets is not exactly what he hoped for. What he wanted is a woman not only to be reliable, but to satisfy his aching loneliness. Ralph is not a kind man, although he does have some admirable qualities. When his new bride, Catherine, arrives, he is in for a ride. She is not at all what she appears to be.

The cover really sucked me into this book, but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover. The book left me a bit sad about the state of the world and how people treat one another.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I think that this book is both chilling and satisfying, and I couldn't put it down! There are surprises in this novel that shock the reader but lend them very much to the story since it's all about love and loving :-)
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
Overall it was good.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 16 more book reviews
Good story kept you guessing what would happen, could relate to the characters who were multi-faceted, and it drew me in fairly quickly.
I enjoy period pieces and live in Wisconsin, so this was interesting to me. On the downside, there seemed to be an awful lot happening in only 6 months or so, and there were several things that were only explained as "such things happen" due to the long Wisconsin winters, which I happen to like, but I'm sure it was worse back then!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 20 more book reviews
A book with wonderful prose, beautiful, sweeping descriptions and a look inside an era and area we don't know much about. But I thought the actual plot was weak. Not sure if I would recommend this one to a friend.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 2 more book reviews
An interesting story, a bit too wordy, and quite disturbing to me. But even so--a good book.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 32 more book reviews
Wonderful!
canadya avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Great book! Very surprising!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Intriguing story that I couldn't put down. Book was in great condition.
mvgirl avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 4 more book reviews
The book was mesmerizing. I couldn't put it down!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 16 more book reviews
Interesting read with a few good plot twists. A tale of redemption served cold.
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 + 5 more book reviews
I read this book for my book club. I enjoy reading paranormal books more, but this book intrigued me. I was surprised by the some of the negative reviews. I read to be entertained and that's what this book did.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 2 more book reviews
My book club read this book several weeks ago. We all commented on the mystery and intrigue. The reader is never quite sure just who is the villain and who is not.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 7 more book reviews
good book
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 102 more book reviews
Deeply woven story. Just ok for me though - not extrodinary.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 6 more book reviews
good read, though predictable
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 216 more book reviews
Well written and engaging.
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.
justbucky avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 17 more book reviews
Excellent Read. Highly Recommend.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
I could not put this novel down, once I began it. The characters became real in the pages and I had to learn what they would reveal next.
boomerbooklover avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 429 more book reviews
Interesting story of a mail-order bride who plans to poison her rich husband. Several twists of plot and unexpected outcomes.
gilesgoatboy avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 54 more book reviews
If you could put the works of Theodore Dreiser, Patricia Highsmith, and Cornell Woolrich in a blender and produce a novel, the results would probably be "A Reliable Wife."
The three central characters are fascinating studies who seem to illustrate the concept that there is no such thing as "normal" other than the fact that it is a myth disguising the truly warped nature of human life.
beachbum71 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 36 more book reviews
Liked this way more than I thought I would after reading the member reviews.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
MKSbooklady avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 928 more book reviews
Fascinating, kept me reading right along. Well done-good story, I enjoyed this one.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 49 more book reviews
I would like to recommend A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. Set in the early 1900s, Ralph Truitt was a lonely man living in seriously cold and miserable Wisconsin. This was not a hot dating spot. People apparently went mad at one point or another randomly maiming and killing neighbors, friends and relatives or cutting off their own legs. As the narrator says, "Such things happen." Remind me never to go to Wisconsin. They may have good cheese, but I hear California cows are much happier. Who would sign up to live in that crazy cold place with a complete stranger? Well, it's probably not a Sunday school teacher. Catherine, who answered the ad, came with a bag full of secrets and a few bottles of poison to boot. Her plan was to become Ralph's wealthy widow. Don't let the long description at the train station at the beginning of the book scare you off. It had some of our book club members wondering what they had gotten themselves into. Keep reading. In the end our book club gave it a thumbs up. Read other reviews at readinginthegarden.blotspot.com
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
I'm surprised there are so many negative reviews of this book, as I really enjoyed it. The plot is somewhat predictable at points, but I found the writing more than made up for that. This is more of a character study than anything else, so if you enjoy that type of storytelling, I recommend this book.
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.
Sue-in-AZ avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 108 more book reviews
I found this book to be very dark. Lots of betrayal and redemption, unforgivable acts and forgiveness, lots of senseless action and consequences.

The settings and story is very richly drawn, but I found the character development to be too shallow, leaning the characters fairly one-dimensional.

I also thought the descriptions of inner dialogue short-changed the depth of thought that I believe most people have. Especially descriptions of the thoughts and reactions of the women in the book. Sorry to say, but only a man could get it that wrong. I've never in my life actually known women with that little understanding of what they want out of life and how to get it without destroying everyone around them.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 6 more book reviews
A really good short book -- haunting.
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 + 1104 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.
prtyof10 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 75 more book reviews
The story had many twists and turns, and kept me guessing all the way through.

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 different kind of book for me to read, which I always welcome. I was intrigued by how the story ended.
HollyWoods627 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 20 more book reviews
Enjoyed the book. At times it was slow and I had to reread some parts but overall the ending was unexpectedly good. I didn't see that coming!
homesteadneedlearts avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 12 more book reviews
This book upset me! Apparently it makes a good book club book because the characters can be discussed at length. I was disappointed with the ending. It is not my kind of book but it certainly has points worth discussing.
bighairtexan avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 32 more book reviews
"A Reliable Wife" is so well crafted, that even though it was very "dark", it wound up being a true pleasure to read. The contrasts of the imagery of the hot, steamy (not at all graphic or explicit) sexual tension set against the cold, sterile, bleak snowy winter, made the mood almost palpable. After the first few chapters, it was SO moody and gloomy that I almost decided not to finish it. I'm so glad I picked it back up. It's an interesting psychological study of sensuality, murder, need, guilt... all wrapped up in a very satisfying ending. I highly recommend it.
fullermrs avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Very strange book...I was hoping for a better read. It was very sexual in a strange way..not my kind of book.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 50 more book reviews
This is a dark book. While well written with a twisting strange plot, it was too dark for me and I was put off by that. I'm just in a stage where I don't like book that leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth and this certainly does.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
The book was just okay for me. It kept me reading in hopes of a better outcome. It is a book of despair and I almost didn't finish it. I've loaned to a friend and will be interested to see what her opinion is of the book
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
Nicely written, but plot was not believable. I would not recommend it.
ansleygrady avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
Very good book!
eyecaregurl avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 24 more book reviews
I just kept waiting for something to happen....anything. You could fit the plot of this book into a twenty min show. I really hate to leave a bad review, but this one killed me.
justaskjulie avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 33 more book reviews
This book got started a little bit slow for me, but by the end of the first chapter I was really drawn into the story. I thought the author did an excellent job of creating real, interesting characters that you wanted happy endings for. You felt for them and understood where they came from and why they made the choices they made.
grangle avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 28 more book reviews
This is a good story, but it is full of the sexual thoughts of the main character. I suppose those thoughts are necessary to explore the reasons he makes the choices he makes, but if you don't like reading that kind of thing, you won't enjoy this book.
jandee avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 14 more book reviews
This was a good read. Plenty of plot twists and turns to keep it going.
BetsyP avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 566 more book reviews
Historical tale by Robert Goolrick, my first by this author. It's complicated. Lonely, wealthy, Ralph Truitt advertises for a honest woman to be his wife. Catherine Land answers his inquiry, and she is anything but an honest woman. Ralph hopes to marry, reconcile with his long lost son, and find peace. This is not a feel-good book. The main characters have very few redeeming qualities and I found them almost impossible to like. The book has a stark, depressing tone. I did like the ending. Read this one when you want to torture yourself.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 9 more book reviews
Really enjoyed the book as it embodies the theme of hope.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
I loved this book, it kept me engaged and was hard to put it down.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 14 more book reviews
This book draws you in and keeps you in suspense. So much so that I read it in a few hours. It is not the type book I would usually read but it was additictive.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 15 more book reviews
I was hooked in the beginning, but it quickly lost its steam.
cmk123 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
I read this over the course of one weekend. It was a quick read and I thought the writing was fine. In fact, I think that's why I continued to read it- it was clear and the descriptions were interesting to me. The author has some interesting perspectives and it is always good to see things with different eyes. Anyway, to the plot... As others have stated, it was predictable but at the same time, some things did not make sense. I don't know about the weather issue that one person mentioned as I'm unfamiliar with Wisconsin weather. It did sound a bit overdrawn though and hard to believe the lakes would already be frozen enough to walk on. Since the Wisconsin back-drop was another character really in the story, you would think that the author would get it right- the first part has them leaving a train station where the weather is just cold-ish and on the way home they find themselves in a full-on blizzard for example. Well, I am trying to mention some other things that didn't make sense but I'm noticing it gives away some mystery in the story- so I'll stop here. I did enjoy the mystery of it. I could have done without all the sexual stuff. To me it was just too much. There was one part that was just gross (waking up with the finger and how he smells it- ugh!). That was the worst of it though- I don't want to make it seem like it was full of gross comments. It wasn't. It was just a bit much to me. Others may be comfortable with that. To me, I would say it is a romance novel. I don't read that genre but that's how it seems. I would give a mixed review then. If you like romance novels where there is a good basic story with interesting characters and a bit of intrigue and mystery, this story is for you. If you are looking for a well written book that makes good sense and gives some insightful thoughts and perspectives, probably not for you.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
This book was really great. It held me captive. It's definitely a page turner and one you will NOT want to put down until you are finished.
Leigh avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 378 more book reviews
This was more entertaining than I thought it would be. Everyone seems to have hidden motives and personal agendas and one character is not as naive as originally thought. The complacency and the desire to change are what drive this novel (in two different directions). One character has more forgiveness than is humanly possible. In the end, I thought the choices each character made were fitting, given the transitions they'd each gone through. I was particularly impressed with the character of Catherine, who discovered what she was looking for was not at all what she wanted and what she had was more than she'd ever hoped for. She's a beautiful character and capable of more love than practically any other character I've come across. This is the story of when bad people amend for their previous mistakes and accept their misgivings and make good, finally reaping all the rewards that come with such choices.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 46 more book reviews
I really liked this book. It was kind of "out there," not very realistic at times, but very engaging. It kept me turning the pages to the very end. I'd recommend it.
sfc95 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 686 more book reviews
I liked this book, it started out miserably slow and written in such lengthy prose that I thought oh no, I am going to hate this, but it picks up nicely, has a lot of twisats an turns, not to say that you can't see them a mile away, but it still make you want to continue reading.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 12 more book reviews
Interesting book. It was not all what I expected! I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the story. It was an easy and quick read!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 7 more book reviews
Couldn't find humanity in the characters
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 224 more book reviews
This was an excellent book, imaginative story intelligently written. USA Today said "A killer debut novel...Good to the riveting end." I loved the characters, they were unique and the book really helps you get inside their heads. This is a book that will keep you up reading way past a sensible hour!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 10 more book reviews
Hard to follow at times but a good book at the end.
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.
iluvlibros avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 73 more book reviews
Unlike many of the other reviewers, I actually really liked this book. Yes, it's full of some pretty strong sexual images, but I never thought they were out of place. They were fitting in this dark, passionate, and compelling story. The characters were so interesting and well-developed, and the plot was full of twists and intrigue. A Reliable Wife is definitely a page turner.
greedyreader avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 22 more book reviews
This book is full of surprises! I thought I knew what I was going to be getting when I started reading it, but was pleasantly surprised at the various twists and turns. It did get a little graffic and gritty in places, but I don't think that I would have it any other way now that I've completed it. The minor characters of Alice and Mrs. (and Mr.) Larsen made me curious and wanting to know more about them, especially the Larsen's, but I can see why Goolrick didn't flesh them out. I kept rooting for Antonio, though I'm not sure why. I think I was looking for his redemption, but that would've been too unreal.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
Very odd story, almost a who done it with all it's twists and turns.
shephardsdaughter avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 12 more book reviews
This book isn't what I had hoped it would be. I kept reading it after I lost interest hoping it would get better. It didn't. Disappointing
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 66 more book reviews
Mr. Goolrick can put sentences together very well but I hate depressing stories. When I finished this I had to immediately read something else that was light to improve my dark mood. I simply did not like the content. I will say that whoever writes the blurbs for his books does a very credible job of selling them. I have also read "Heading Out to Wonderful" and both of these books sounded like they would be great mysteries. For me - JUST NO - way to dark for my tastes. And as for "Heading Out to Wonderful", I like my mysteries SOLVED thank you very much!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 6 more book reviews
Way too many sex scenes in this book for my liking. The characters were rather predictable and the storyline very unbelievable. It was an okay read. I would not recommend it.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Very enthralling plot. Caution: lots of detailed sex scenes that may not be appropriate for young adults.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 13 more book reviews
"Mesmerizing" according to the Chicago Sun-Times. I thoroughly agree. This book was relentless, a real icy cold page-turner, perhaps to reinforce the potential redemptive power of hope, love & forgiveness.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
Very different, but good story
icemunkee avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
I devoured this book....haven't had one grab me this good in awhile. It is wonderfully dark, sensual and moves quickly. I felt for every one of the characters and their flaws and desires were so interesting from each angle. Complex story with an unexpected resolution.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Great story with many twists and turns. I found it engrossing and would highly recommend for any book club.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Excellent story. Goolrick's character development was so complete that there was no one without sin and no villain in this story.
Dalaiwmn avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 14 more book reviews
A very good book by this author. Sensual, exotic, mysterious thriller on several levels. I highly recommend this.
kristinpeterson92 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 4 more book reviews
I have mixed feelings about this book. In some aspects I thought it was very well written but the author did tend to go on and on in his descriptions and I felt myself getting bored and skipping though to get to the next part. It was overkill to much of the same over and over.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
This was definately not what I expected it to be. It had several unexpected twists. I found myself skipping complete paragraphs because some of the character's "thoughts" were just too boring.
Jacqueline avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 14 more book reviews
Overall, I'm glad I read A Reliable Wife, it is an intense story about a man and a woman who enter into a marriage, both concealing their motives from each other. In some parts, I disliked the story and in others I was intrigued by it. I read it through until the end, even though I twice decided to stop reading it.
The characters are well written. The narrative often made me uncomfortable, but is also well written. The plot is devious with a few twists to keep you guessing how it will conclude. The ending was satisfying.
There is a fair amount of sexual content, so if you dislike that, I wouldn't recommend this book for you. If you have no problem with sexual themes, give it a try.
Paul-RLT avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 176 more book reviews
The book had an interesting plot but the author proceeds in a meandering manner. His writing style is annoying and often unclear. I agree with those who feel this novel is overrated.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on
I did not like this book
Readnmachine avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 1434 more book reviews
Dark and erotically charged tale of a lonely man, the deceptive woman who came to be his wife, and the ways in which both love and hate can live for decades.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 57 more book reviews
I have had this book for over a year. After I ordered it, I read the top two reviews which were negative and was discouraged from reading it. I finally added it to my summer reading list. Once I started, I was bedazzled by the story. Yes, it was a bit contrived and I lost track of the season sometimes but those are minor issues. I loved the story of sin, pain, forgiveness and redemption. Even the minor characters were well described and one could see why they made the choices they made (Alice, Mrs. Larson). The story was not cozy or sweet, it was sordid and violent often. However, the flow of the language and the undercurrent of hope kept me reading. Not a comfortable book, but one I'll remember.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 57 more book reviews
Unlike some of the other reviews I read about this book, I do not just hate this book. It is written in a different manner and is really quite depressing, BUT that being said it kept me reading until the end, becuase unlike others, I was not sure how he Goolrick would end the book. It could have gone in many different directions. I really think it is worth the effort. I always feel that if a book is a waste of time I will not continue, because there are just too many good books to waste time reading a bad one. I stuck with this one and was not sorry that I did...that is about all I can say.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 28 more book reviews
Thought this was to be such a good book. Hard to stay interested in, very predictable. The end could not come fast enough.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 2 more book reviews
extremely well done novel. Totally enjoyed.
BigGreenChair avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 450 more book reviews
He placed a notice in a Chicago newspaper, 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 herself a wealthy widow. What she did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely man had a plan of his own.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 20 more book reviews
http://abookofadifferentcolor.blogspot.com

Okay, you know how Barnes and Noble or Borders ropes you in with those buy fifteen get one free deals, that aren't really a good deal because you can get it all cheaper on Amazon anyway? I'm sorry to say, but that is what happened to me with A Reliable Wife.

The back of the book sounded so interesting, but evidently the snippet writer didn't actually read the book, or sugar coated the story into a few sentence blurb.

The problem with this book is that it had such potential. A man writes a personal ad for a "reliable wife," gets a picture of an ordinary woman and sends her money to come live with him in Wisconsin. She comes, but she is a different woman than the one in the picture and had all sorts of secrets in her past including a very shady gentleman who in a spoiler twist turns out to be the son of the ad-writer. This book sounds great right? Wrong-o.

Check out my full review at:

http://abookofadifferentcolor.blogspot.com
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
definite page turner
crazy twist I didn't see coming
would recommend
2manyb00ks avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 203 more book reviews
Not as good as I expected, but overall a good read. This was a fairly quick read. The plot was solid and flowed pretty well. The author got a bit overly descriptive at times. At one point I skipped about two pages where he went on about flowers in the secret garden. My biggest complaint was numerous sections devoted to sex, not romance, but sex.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 116 more book reviews
A Reliable Wife is one of those best-sellers that has glowing reviews from the critics and mixed/negative reviews from many readers. I'm somewhere in the middle. While I didn't love this book, I didn't hate it either. It's like a gothic novel, where the long, harsh Wisconsin winter plays a supporting character. A Reliable Wife is about two people--Ralph and Catherine--who both have complicated pasts and hidden agendas. It is an intense story of passion, regret, loss.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 412 more book reviews
A wealthy widower places a personal ad for a wife and gets much more than he bargains for. A great novel, full of twists and turns and an entirely satisfying ending.
LeahG avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 320 more book reviews
This story has quite a few surprising twists to it.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 25 more book reviews
Not the same ol'"lonely man orders mail order bride" kind of book. Lots of interesting characters, plot turns and complicated moral choices.
aba-graphicarts avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on
Desperate and unlikable characters! Depressing! I was angry with myself for giving it my time!
moseylion avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 20 more book reviews
Absolutely Fabulous read!
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 10 more book reviews
Well written and an easy read. Fascinating characters and a great plot.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 7 more book reviews
Didn't like it at all
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 4 more book reviews
mediocre story and writing
alisonf avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 20 more book reviews
I'm surprised to see the negative reviews here as I found this to be a great recreational read, and the wife character to be deliciously sinister. Sometimes a good story is just that, a good story.
nic03red avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 38 more book reviews
An okay read.

Catherine Land travels to Wisconsin to meet the man she has agreed to marry. She responds to his personal ad for a simple, honest woman. However, there is nothing simple or honest about her and he has no idea what she really has in store for him.

This book was just ok. It had a slow start. I definitely had to pick it up a few times to get into the story. It had an interesting plot and a couple twists in the story that made it interesting. The story kind of picked up in the middle for me and then got slow towards the end. I was a little dissatisfied with the ending as well. I like how it ended, but it felt kind of abrupt. Overall, I wouldn't highly recommend this book. Kind of just finished it to finish it.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 63 more book reviews
I thought the story was a little weird but it kept my interest.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 34 more book reviews
This book was easy to read and was interesting. Overall, I found it rather strange and doubt that I would read anything else by this author. Maybe it would appeal to others, but it was just strange to me that people would actually act the way they did in this book.
fred9839 avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 3 more book reviews
I liked it. 4 stars.
Pug avatar reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 18 more book reviews
From 3 different prospectives...Ralph, Catherine, and Anthony...in a bygone era in the cold, wintery landscape of Wisconsin.
reviewed A Reliable Wife on + 6 more book reviews
I loved this book.