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A Reliable Wife Paperback – January 5, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
No, this is not a quote from Goolrick or A Reliable Wife, HOWEVER it could have been.
A reliable Wife is not terrible. There are some beautifully written passages and it does commence with an intriguing plot but unfortunately midway through the book begins to morph into a dime store bodice ripper. Goolrick's protagonist is a miserable aging man who craves sex so much you begin to worry he's going to go completely nuts one day and mount the portly old housekeeper when she's taking out the trash. He winds up advertising for a wife and when she arrives he turns into Charlie Sheen (the new one with the Tiger Blood and porn Goddesses...) From then on the book's plot becomes so preposterous and the sexual encounters so salacious and repetitive it's truly hard to maintain interest. In addition to the bacchanalian sex, the sprawled limbs, the moist loins, the heaving bosoms etc...every character in this novel basically wants to drop dead (that is, if they're not in the middle of intercourse.) Truly, I have never seen so many homicidal, suicidal, morose, pissed off, seething, wretched individuals crammed into one book. So, in summation, if you like watching irate vengeful people savagely engage in coitus and then drop dead, you might like this book.
When she disembarked the train, Catherine Land's beautiful face didn't match the picture she had sent Truitt and he told her flatly, " ' Maybe you thought I was a fool. You were wrong.' " But a howling storm stopped Ralph from interrogating her there and then. And as the horses drew Truitt's carriage toward his estate in blinding snow, fate stepped in and won this woman a renewed offer to become Mrs. Truitt -- which was what she wanted.
Well, more precisely, she wanted what she intended would follow shortly: widowhood and the inheritance of Truitt's amassed estate. She had brought what she needed to implement her deadly scheme. Possessed of a scandalous past she would keep secret at all costs, Catherine had so much experience with men she was confident she could murder and yet remain emotionally unencumbered.
Ralph was no saint himself, but he carried an ingrained self-flagellating and resigned spirit. "Some things you escape, he thought. Most things you don't, certainly not the cold. You don't escape the things, mostly bad, that just happen to you." Wounds of love and lust had scarred him terribly two decades ago. Now alone and, for all intents and purposes, heirless at fifty-four, Ralph felt despair. He knew it wasn't unique to himself.Read more ›
The plot is thin and boring, the most interesting element in the beginning with the runaway horses episode. Inconsistencies abound. And I just can't care about any of the unlikable one-dimensional characters, whose colors change on every page, sometimes within a paragraph, from absorption-love-desire-regret-bitterness-hate back to bitterness-regret-desire-love-absorption.
Easily, this is in my list of the worst books I have read. As a librarian, I will not be recommending this to my reading public. Don't waste your time - I did, so you don't have to.
The characters are awkward, the plot is awkward, the writing is awkward, the sex scenes are awkward, even the names of the characters are awkward (Ralph Truitt, Catherine Land, Antonio Moretti as the bastard "son"). The musings of the unsympathetic, boring and unimaginative characters seem to go on forever, and the story is just ridiculous. I kept waiting for the plot twist that never happened.
If you actually care about not knowing what will happen in this predictable, implausible and downright silly book, don't read any further.....
For starters, the characters are unlikeable stereotypes. Even the dead ones, like the mother, the sister, the wife...As for the live ones? (The caretakers? Stereotypes.) Well, you know exactly what Catherine's past is when she's sitting on the train. If her clothes weren't a dead giveaway, her thoughts about the appearance of her train car tell you everything you need to know. Truitt's incessant moping about sex is just as predictable and boring. It's not even pathetically sad. It's just boring. So, the two main characters' respective tragic pasts are not exactly exciting, or even remotely interesting.
As for the plot: Again, when it isn't completely predictable, it's implausible. The writer virtually copies a scene right out of Jane Eyre, so that Catherine can ingratiate herself with Truitt shortly after they meet. The sister dies a Dickensian death. The attempt to make Truitt and Catherine's meeting less of an accident is so contrived as to be absurd. The near and actual deaths - equally predictable and contrived.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really did not like this book. I can't think of anything good to say. Not going to waste my time pointing out all of the misogynistic negatives.Published 14 days ago by Pam Gares
I just finished this book. I honestly only kept reading it because I somehow expected it to be something more. Something good and it just wasn't. Read morePublished 24 days ago by J. Martin
This book, which I recently bought at a local library sale, held promise and an inviting come-on. The story takes place in the early twentieth century. Read morePublished 1 month ago by lawyeraau
I don't understand why everyone in this book was so obsessed with sex. I mean, I'm no prude but this book was not billed as a harlequin romance. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JB
Good book, well written. I have read it twice and now use a narrator. I actually prefer to read it myself.Published 3 months ago by Cathy
In a nutshell I was disappointed.
I picked up this book thinking it might be good to put into book club. Unfortunately, I decided it wasn't good enough. Read more
I started reading this book on Sunday morning and couldn't put it down until I had finished the story. This book is not your run of the mill love story, that's for sure. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michele