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Dark,
Dramatic,
Interesting

130 reviews

A Reliable Wife
by Robert Goolrick

Published: 2010-01-05
Kindle Edition : 320 pages
189 members reading this now
213 clubs reading this now
204 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 90 of 130 members
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 ...
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Introduction

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.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

If Goolrich had made this a story that had a haunting element in it, would the way the characters acted, as well as the horrific things the townspeople did have made all the things that happened to the characters more understandle?
Do you think the characters that are left at the end of the book have finally made peace with their lives and their future?
Who would you have cast as the characters if a movie would be made of this book?
by l0ve2READ (see profile) 06/30/15

If Antonio had gotten his wish, what would have been the future for 2 of the 3 characters?
by vaughn (see profile) 06/04/12

What role does arsenic play in the book? What role has it played throughout history?
Another key character is the Wisconsin winter. How does the weather figure into other stories?
by rkarpinecz (see profile) 03/11/11

We talked a lot about the setting of the book and how the setting influenced the behavior of the characters.
by ranger1968 (see profile) 02/26/11

What options did women have during that time period
Did the setting of the story affect the mood of the characters
by ParkerJones (see profile) 01/03/11

The book has several discussion questions in the back from the publisher.
by Willow2676 (see profile) 11/05/10

Why do you think the author used the phrase " such things happen" so often throughout the book and how did the tone of that statement change at the novels conclusion?
Did you find any of the characters likable?
by bklvr22 (see profile) 10/19/10

Did the ending surprise you? Or any part of the book, for that matter?
by DarlaClarkPayne (see profile) 05/01/10

Have each member bring a question to discuss.....throw them in a bowl.....and pick one at a time until your time is up:)
by spclmom4two (see profile) 04/15/10

Discuss ways that Ralph and Catherine's early childhood/life shaped their characters personalities.
by zacharyasz (see profile) 03/16/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Booksnthings (see profile) 12/17/19

 
  "Mysteries of A Reliable Wife"by l0ve2READ (see profile) 06/30/15

This book has hints of Gothic and Victorian novels throughout. Our book club had mixed reviews, although most thought it wasn't the best read. I thought it could have been a good ghost story if the author... (read more)

 
by alyssa (see profile) 08/01/14

 
  "A Reliable Wife"by CollyO (see profile) 10/03/13

The book was ok. I know a great deal of people suggested this book to me but I wasn't blown away by it.

 
  "starts off excellent but becomes unbelievable"by ebach (see profile) 09/23/13

A RELIABLE WIFE starts off excellent but later contains circumstances that cheapen it. This book becomes too unbelievable. Although many would argue that, as fiction, it should not need to b... (read more)

 
  "A Reliable Wife"by Silver's Reviews (see profile) 09/04/13

A lie from the first moment they met....Ralph knew she wasn't the girl he had placed an ad for.

But Catherine never thought twice about how she lied to this man she was going to marry and

... (read more)

 
  "A Reliable Wife"by harley892 (see profile) 03/26/13

An interesting story with twists and turns. Interesting characters.

 
  "A reliable wife"by klingelhutz (see profile) 10/05/12

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