Nana Banana (speaky_bean) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Nana Banana

2. A Reliable Wife

Title: A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
Page #: 291
Year Published: 2009

Summary: Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she's not the "simple, honest woman" that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man's devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt — a passionate man with his own dark secrets —has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.

With echoes of Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, Robert Goolrick's intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.
-- Algonquin Books

Thoughts: This was an absolutely gorgeous book. The style is spare and haunting, practically gripping you by the throat as you read. Some of the plot twists seemed a bit clumsily handled, and the introspective chapters sometimes went on for too long and were slightly repetitive, but for the most part this was an extremely impressive book. The characters manage to be both sympathetic and fascinating despite having done some truly awful things, and the end, while horrifying, is also oddly satisfying. I actually took time out of my once-every-few-months visit with my fiance to read this book, and let me tell you, that takes one damn fascinating book!

Tags: fiction, literary

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