A Reliable Wife
by Robert Goolrick
Kindle Edition-

Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman ...

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Member ratings

  "Insightful ... Seductive" by E.R.C. (see profile) 05/07/09

Every word, every emotion, saturated my skin. Each character rich and alive with real experiences and feelings that ached for empathy. A fantastic read!!

  "Dark tale, "film noir"." by ellentambo (see profile) 07/14/09

Very dark psycological thriller. Lots and lots and lots of sex, almost like the author was obscessed by it. A little nauseating after awhile since the characters are all such awful people. Would not recomend this book. Was hoping for something a little better

  "Great Book" by dcb155 (see profile) 09/14/09

  "Not what I expected" by vickcat180 (see profile) 10/18/09

The book was definately not what I expected! However, it was a fast read that kept me in one spot. Definately lots of sex, but an interesting storyline as well. Wasn't sure where it was going, but I was along for the ride.

  "Not For Everyone" by JustMe (see profile) 10/26/09

Actually, the majority of our club enjoyed this read, even though they can't pinpoint why. As for me, I didn't like the characters enough to care what was happening to them. What I liked best.....it was a short read.

  "Recommended by NPR" by Nealesa (see profile) 02/08/10

NPR has got some good book suggestions. This book started out slow, but once you get past the pity party for the main male character, this book is fasinating. I love how the lies of the story slowly unfold.

  "wonderful book" by susansmola (see profile) 02/09/10

a woman working at border's recommended this book to me and i found it to be an easy read and really, really good.

  "A Reliable Wife" by mgenduso (see profile) 03/06/10

  "OK" by LauraAdams (see profile) 03/09/10

This book was different. It was interesting but definitely does not play out the way you think it will. Could have been better but was still a fairly good book.

  "A Reliable Wife" by nuthatch903 (see profile) 03/13/10

  "The Reliable Wife" by zacharyasz (see profile) 03/16/10

If you are looking for a straight forward, single layered book; this isn't for you. The characters are brimming with deep seated problems and secrets. The setting is dark and gloomy, adding to the overall feel of the book; much like the classics that this book has been compared to. The two main characters, Ralph and Catherine, do indeed add that glimmer of hope that keeps this book alive. You may not see it at first, but stay to the end. You won't regret it.

  "worst book ever" by moshi28 (see profile) 03/20/10

This is one of my book club selection and it is one of the worst books ever written. You can look at reviews on Amazon and see for yourself. This book should never have been published or been a bestseller. Do not let your book clubs read it.

  "Not a redeeming character in the book" by tarabranham (see profile) 03/20/10

I usually love our book club picks. This one was terrible. The author's obsession with sex that he reflected through his characters was so pointless. Not worth the time I invested in reading it. It was as gloomy and depressing as Ethan Frome.

  "Didn't enjoy this book" by lakmanel (see profile) 04/01/10

This was our club selection for Jan,and it is one of the few books that I didn't enjoy. The few parts of the novel where I felt that there could have been more character development and fleshing out of the story (such as the relationship between the protagonist and her sister, for example), the author completely skipped over. Our club ended up not really talking about the merits of the book, but spent the meeting gossiping about what was happening at the local HS. That's the first time this has ever happened in the history of our club.

  "Don't bother....." by ShanaM (see profile) 04/14/10

This author is obviously obsessed with sex! The characters are not likable, the monotonous chapters of sex are tiring and the plot became rather predictable.
I couldn't find one reason to like this book or recommend it to anyone and will be selling my copy ASAP!

  "Intense book !" by carriebino (see profile) 04/14/10

I thought this book was good and it gripped me. I was hesistant at first until I got into the story. There is a fine line between good and evil in the early 1900's and image and honor are a huge part of this. It is different and unusual from anything else we have read.

  "Unanimously enjoyed by my book club" by jenniferharding (see profile) 04/15/10

This is a beautifully written book. The author has a way with words. I had heard that this book had been compared to "Atonement" which made me nervous, as I consider "Atonement" to be one of the worst books I've ever read. Oddly enough, I see the comparison in the writing. There are repetitive passages, wordy descriptions, and some of the writing seems a little self-indulgent. However Goolrick's story is compelling and forward moving, passionate and extremely dramatic. This is not a book about one event. This is a book about three incredibly flawed, even cruel individuals and their fates as they have constructed them. I loved the repeated statements that we live the lives we have created and "such things will happen."

The story is not without its flaws. In fact, I had a very hard time with the drastic transformations that took place within the characters in such a short period of time. The events that occurred did not seem to be possible to have happened in a matter of six to nine months, which is the timeline we are given. While people do evolve and change over a lifetime, I do not believe that people change as much or as quickly as the author would have us believe.

This book is definitely worth the read and does not take long to get through at just under 300 pages.

  "A Reliable Wife" by spclmom4two (see profile) 04/15/10

This sparked a very intense book club meeting.....and all thirty women gave it a thumbs up! It really could be a Hitchcock book. Hope it becomes a movie.

  "Twists and turns. Great sense of time and place." by pachutabelle (see profile) 04/15/10

  "A Reliable Wife" by DarlaClarkPayne (see profile) 05/01/10

I can't remember reading a book quite as fast as I did this novel. It was a compelling novel, that kept me wondering. I found the writer's use of sexual content to be just borderline erotic, yet not dirty. I related to the characters while also judging them. It was fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and hated to see it end!!! Suggest it to your members if you would like to get some intersting conversations about money, lust, and poison started. : )

  "The Reliable Wife" by lemondrop (see profile) 05/02/10

  "Different" by lpgraupmann (see profile) 05/08/10

  "It promised at the beginning..." by mpaniaguatej (see profile) 05/18/10

but then turned out to be repetitive and boring. I expected more. A FIASCO!

  "The Reliable Wife" by JoyceLopes (see profile) 05/22/10

  "A Reliable Wife" by jemcomeau (see profile) 05/25/10

This story was unconvincing - it's 1907 - and yes, this is fiction, but how is possible that all of this could come together is very unlikely? The sex - please - boring! My least favorite of all of our book club reads.

  "A Reliable Wife" by blsnshin (see profile) 05/26/10

I'm not sure I would've read this book if I saw it randomly in the bookstore, but it was interesting. It was a pretty easy read and the story flowed well, but it was a bit predictable. You kind-of end up feeling sorry or sad for Ralph and somewhat confused by who Catherine really is. Worth a try though.

  "A Reliable Wife" by tdb1385 (see profile) 06/01/10

Very well told and very easy to read.

  "A Good Read" by kristinbluedog (see profile) 06/01/10

Although it took a little time to get into the book and then it was tremendously dark in spots it turned out to be a page turning read. Overall I really enjoyed it!

  "Not Worth My Time" by codarlin (see profile) 06/01/10

The book reminded me of a sleazy soap opera. The author is obsessed with sex and the sex scenes were creepy.

  "A Reliable Wife" by olddog51 (see profile) 06/23/10

The worsed book I have ever read!!!!I can only say that book clubs read it so that they can talk about the hrrible parts...Peaple read it to see if it is really as bad as people say...It is as bad...you don't have to read it...

  "A Reliable Wife" by convivia8 (see profile) 06/30/10

I found the book to be compelling reading. Truitt and Catherine's psyches were fascinating abysses of despair, misery, love, hope, deceit and lust. Such things happen.

  "A Reliable Wife" by januaryb (see profile) 07/05/10

Good Story with twists.

  "Dark and Dramatic" by emw314 (see profile) 07/15/10

The Reliable Wife is a dark and dramatic book. It is a mail order bride nightmare...interesting..alittle over the top yet very entertaining.

  "A Reliable Wife" by kelbel (see profile) 07/22/10

  "Don't waist your time!" by sdare (see profile) 07/24/10

The majority of our book club did not care for this book. The plot itself was interesting, but was poorly written in my opinion. The author goes on and on about the same point and has terrible views about sex. I found myself skipping pages just to move on and get to the meat and potatoes of the book.

  "A Reliable Wife" by vsneed (see profile) 07/26/10

  "Period piece" by b3club (see profile) 08/09/10

Well written, but very dark subject matter. Did keep my interest until the end.

  "I liked it." by riegerd (see profile) 08/15/10

  "a reliable wife" by 090537 (see profile) 08/15/10

good read! kept your interest to see what was going to happen

  "It's Unreliable" by poodlecups (see profile) 08/17/10

I found this book to be dark and it focused to much on sex. It's not that I mind a little sex in a book, but really, does the whole book have to be entirely focused on it? None of characters were likeable. I was disappointed.

  "Rushed Ending" by woodbird (see profile) 08/17/10

  "Addictive, Raw and really interesting" by hr2005 (see profile) 08/18/10

this book will keep you up. reading and wanting to know what is going to happen next. loved it!

  "A Reliable Wife" by kmurano (see profile) 08/20/10

Dark but not without hope, characters were both despicable and relatable all at the same time. Plot unfolds little by little with many twists and turns.

  "didnt like it" by tracydeer (see profile) 08/20/10

  "icky" by aspenagau (see profile) 08/26/10

  "Dramaless drama" by REWall (see profile) 08/27/10

So much more could have been done with these characters. I didn't feel the drama I think was intended. Initially, I was incited to think of Heathcliff and that book's tortured passion. But this story failed me. There was no passion, no lust, no desire expressed in this story. And I felt no connection, no empathy with any but the housekeeper- and her story was not explored. I see so much potential for this to have been a fulfilling novel, but as it it, it is not.

  "twist and turns" by demask (see profile) 09/03/10

We thought the books characters all had serious character flaws and only towards the end was the reader able to recognize that at least one of them displayed some humanity.

  "A Reliable Wife" by lollygil (see profile) 09/03/10

  "Don't know how to put it down" by HollyD (see profile) 09/06/10

Just about the time you think you got it... It changes on you.

  "slightly disappointing" by Jannieboree (see profile) 09/09/10

  "Disturbing story of desperately unloved people." by corron2 (see profile) 09/13/10

  "a reliable wife" by ihatereading (see profile) 09/15/10

  "Didn't like it." by ksupaige05 (see profile) 09/15/10

  "Very Different!" by SFW (see profile) 09/15/10

Very interesting book! I had seen a few posts that there was graphic sexual content in this book. I didn't find that to be true, just that there was a lot more discussion of the thoughts of sex than anything I would have thought in a book based in the early 1900s. I thought it was a very well written and had twists I didn't see coming... I definitely recommend!

  "Thank goodness it is a quick read." by jflottman (see profile) 09/16/10

  "Siena book club found this book a bit depressing" by dcokingtin (see profile) 09/16/10

We felt none of the characters had many redeeming qualities. It came down to who did we think was least evil. Many expressed gladness the book ended and didn't get that feeling of I don' t want tis book to end.

  "A Reliable Wife" by rnns1999 (see profile) 09/21/10

I enjoyed this book and found it interesting, however that was not
the concensus of the club. Some found it slow and the sex scenes long,.,, there was a lot of sex scenes....

  "A Reliable Wife" by patcat47 (see profile) 09/22/10

I just finished this book a few weeks ago. It was my "vacation book". Very different story and different way of telling the story. To me the writing style is a little hard to read. I have recommended this book to friends but told them it is not for everyone. I like most books that are different and this one told a different story in a different style, that is why I enjoyed it and gave it a good rating. I think it would be a good book club book because it would open up a lot of different discussions.

  "I liked it." by cao324 (see profile) 10/01/10

I was surprised at all the many negative reviews. It was hard for me to put the book down. I liked the writing style of theauthor - he was very descriptive and told the story very well. It was dramatic with some twists and turns in the plot.

  "Didn't follow the predictable path" by Lgriffies (see profile) 10/04/10

I liked this book. There were some points where I felt the writer could have left out the more graphic references, but loved all the twists.

  "Got better as it went, ended up loving it!" by colleenb (see profile) 10/08/10

  "Overall a Good Book" by beesting (see profile) 10/12/10

Interesting read, not what I expected, but turned out to be a good story.

  "A reliable wife" by bklvr22 (see profile) 10/19/10

I really enjoyed this book and so did many of our book club members. It provoked much discussion. Although somewhat dark in nature, it was an easy reading page turner.

  "Not quite reliable" by deenafrog (see profile) 10/21/10

Fun and romping but not too much depth. I saw through its twists quite easily. Still enjoyable.

  "Wisconsin Gothic" by quinby2 (see profile) 10/22/10

Interesting period piece in the Gothic tradition. A story of loneliness, love, family dynamics and interrelationships set in an isolated Wisconsin town.

  "Gothic book set in the Early 1900's Midwest" by jbracey (see profile) 11/03/10

I really enjoyed this book.

  "A Reliable Wife" by Gardenkeeper29 (see profile) 11/05/10

Too depressing

  "What's your poison?" by Willow2676 (see profile) 11/05/10

Lots to talk about and very intriguing the way the author wrote and tied so much of the story together. Lots of twists and unexpected surprises and shocks right to the end.

  "End the misery..." by tompatrice (see profile) 11/14/10

I was hooked through the first half of the book, and then things started to go downhill. If the author stuck in one more gratuitous sex scene, I thought I'd shoot myself. By the end, I really didn't care who lived or died, I just wanted to end the misery.

  "The Reliable Wife" by kmages (see profile) 11/16/10

  "A Reliable Wife" by gooseharp (see profile) 11/30/10

Very dark gothic tale. Lots of sexual inuendos and some violence. It is about redemption and findng real love as opposed to obsession. Good descriptions and great phrasing. A little slow at first but picks up after a couple of chapters and it has some surprising twists.

  "A Reliable Wife" by angelap (see profile) 12/01/10

I did not enjoy this book. It's a twisted story of debauchery.

  "Gave me chills while reading" by HLEMK (see profile) 12/01/10

  "reliable wife" by 4genoh (see profile) 12/17/10

I couldn't relate to any of the characters or really find any redeeming traits of the protagonists.
Actually wondered what the author wanted the reader to get from the book.

  "Not what I expected" by candystock (see profile) 12/17/10

  "Very thought provoking." by pheasanthill (see profile) 12/19/10

Beautifully written with an O.Henry-ish ending. Gives a great sense of place.

  "Reliable Wife" by ladami32 (see profile) 01/03/11

The first half of the book was slow but the last half was very interesting. Overall, a very good read.

  "The Reliable Wife" by ParkerJones (see profile) 01/03/11

It kept me page turning. I had to get to the end.

  "Great" by beachgal (see profile) 01/04/11

A dark, but extremely intriquing book....this book surprised me so much...more than any other book....a great read...couldnt put down...unexpecting....loved it!!!

  "Mixed Reviews" by steph-hansen (see profile) 01/06/11

Some of our members liked this book, some absolutely hated it.

  "Dented Mail Order Bride" by georgeannschmidt (see profile) 01/12/11

  "The Reliable Wife" by amhaise (see profile) 01/13/11

Very good selection for a book club. Lots of interesting discussion material.

  "A Reliable Wife" by dstarnes32 (see profile) 01/14/11

This book I would recommend just because the discussion was a good one!That being said it was NOT one of my favorites.The writing style was repetitive and.......confusing.The whole demeanor of the book was hopelessness!!!

  "A Reliable Wife" by jen6296 (see profile) 01/16/11

Time laspes a little off. Perhaps more on the romantic novel side but very colorful characters. A quick read and tons to discuss.

  "Reliable Wife" by pattra (see profile) 01/18/11

  "Un-reliable Wife" by chani33 (see profile) 01/19/11

Reading this book was like trudging through the snow in middle of winter in the mid-west! Each time I thought it was picking up speed and interest the author threw in some dark and disturbing information about the characters. Once you find out the twist it loses the little interest there was.

  "Interesting plot" by AshleyAsher (see profile) 01/19/11

This book generated a good discussion at our meeting. There are a lot of plot twists and dark characters to keep it interesting.

  "Morality in a barren landscape" by Ulrikamw (see profile) 01/22/11

  "A chore to read" by frogerella (see profile) 01/24/11

If you like bad writing, boring characters and a dumb plot then this book is for you. If you are an avid reader then you will find nothing surprising or unique about this book at all. I listened to the audiobook while cleaning otherwise I wouldn't have read past the first page.

  "Interesting twists" by tamengel (see profile) 01/28/11

This book was interesting to read. Although I liked the twists that were presented in the book, it was a little slow for my tastes.

  "It was ok." by rdfstrong (see profile) 01/31/11

  "Well written" by LucindaAnn (see profile) 02/01/11

Somewhat dark, but very well written with some unexpected turns. I enjoyed the story, became emotionally attached to the well developed characters thus caring about the book.

  "Interesting book full of the unexpected" by shannon2729 (see profile) 02/04/11

  "A Reliable Wife" by poohnuts26 (see profile) 02/13/11

It is a well written story and two of our book club members read Goolrick's memoir which offered insight into the development of the three main characters in A Reliable Wife. We had a healthy discussion about child abuse and how the abuse has an effect on the individual later in life. We also came to the conclusion that this story was the "child's" search to forgive his parents for physically and emotionally hurting him and in the end there was a sense of forgiveness.

  "The Reliable Wife" by Grosland (see profile) 02/16/11

The Reliable Wife just wasn't what I thought it would be like. I was hoping for more of a positive love story. Instead it was full of lies, evilness, and deception.

  "Struggle." by sarahmeyermay (see profile) 02/16/11

Reads like a soap opera. At times struggled to keep reading.

  "A Reliable Wife" by bonnielynn (see profile) 02/18/11

  "The Reliable Wife" by patritti32 (see profile) 02/28/11

  "Reliable Wife" by ltroge03 (see profile) 03/01/11

We read this with our book club and had two thumbs up and 9 down for the book. Overall we had a hard time relating to the characters or really feeling much for many of them. It was a quick read and had some good twists but by far not one of our group's favorites.

  "A Reliable Wife" by christyshipman (see profile) 03/02/11


  "The landscape is dark; the tale darker still. The characters are deceitful and not very likeable." by rkarpinecz (see profile) 03/11/11

Each carries considerable baggage. Yet, somehow Goolrick makes it work and the result is an intriguing and compelling tale and an excellent read.

  "fast read" by nmjm4me (see profile) 03/12/11

It had enough twists and turns to keep you interested even though some of the material was questionable.

  "Couldn't Put it Down" by crive (see profile) 03/18/11

This book is set in the early 1900s. A book about deceit, regret and forgivness. A wonderful read.

  "The Reliable Wife" by djs49 (see profile) 03/21/11

Book was boring and moved too slow. Too much focus on sexual theme and not enough on the plot.

  "A Reliable Wife" by wittchick (see profile) 03/22/11

Storyline moved well. There was so much emphasis on sexual encounters.

  "The Reliable Wife" by ddj004 (see profile) 04/05/11

I really like this book. It is dark and dramatic. Twists and turns. I loved the way the writer made the winter conditions tie into the story. It might not be a read for everyone.

  "THe Reliable Wife" by lwmurray1 (see profile) 04/23/11

  "Reliable Wife" by luvsbooks (see profile) 04/23/11

  "A Reliable Wife" by Lacy3711 (see profile) 05/13/11

This book was ok. Nothing spectacular and nothing I will remember years down the road and definitely nothing I would read over again. Did not Identify with the characters at all and the story was slow at times and pointless

  "Great book!" by hhegge (see profile) 05/14/11

This book is a little dark and twisty. I had a difficult time putting the book down! It was a great break from my more cheery love stories. I highly recommend this book!

  "Page Turner" by FriendshipSisters (see profile) 05/20/11

This historical novel by Robert Goolrick was thouroghly enjoyable and a real page turner. The story is set in Wisconsin, 1907, and much to my surprise had many twists and turns. The characters are unforgettable and I enjoyed the love story despite the madness. This novel is fairly erotic but found that the erotocism truly added to the story. Love - Deceit - Murder - Redemption - it all makes for a great novel.

  "A Reliable Wife" by cyndib (see profile) 05/31/11

Well written - but too dark for my interest. I find that lately books found on the best-seller list are gaining interest along the lines of deep dark topics. Not only is the book depressing, but it has a predictable plot which drags without relief of redemption.

  "A Reliable WIfe" by mrea54 (see profile) 07/09/11

Beautifully written, dark theme but gave our book group lots to talk about.

  "The Reliable Wife" by Brenner (see profile) 07/22/11

The book began slow but the character development was wonderful. I enjoyed the flow and turns of events.

  "A Reliable Wife" by jpurcell (see profile) 08/16/11

Wow! Just when you think you have figured it out, the story makes an unexpected dramatic turn and once again you are pulled into the twisting and turning plot.

  "Great book for discussion" by ktbear (see profile) 08/29/11

This book was interesting as half of us really liked it while the other half did not. In any case, we all felt really strongly about the book.

  "Very good book" by modmate (see profile) 09/01/11

  "Hated this book" by stefanieapplegate1 (see profile) 09/03/11

I didnt like this book at all. Didn't like any of the characters and did not enjoy his style of writing.

  "Haunting" by ringocpa (see profile) 09/05/11

  "A Reliable Wife" by whaagenson (see profile) 09/15/11

This is not an uplifting book. It's a book filled with despair. The characters are tragic - and simply difficult to like at times. With that being said, there is some personal growth in the main characters and it is written in a easy reading style. I would not recommend it to everyone, but those who enjoy looking into the minds of tragic characters will probably love it.

  "Good Pick" by crellinger (see profile) 10/14/11

This book got a lot of negative reviews. However, I found it really interesting. You had to understand the deeper meaning. To understand the characters lives and why they behave the way they do makes it an interesting book. Glad I read it.

  "A Reliable Wife" by kenapastore (see profile) 01/10/12

Very interesting twists of fate.

  "Very dark" by Staceyann1001 (see profile) 04/09/12

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

An interesting story with twists and turns. Interesting characters.

  "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 how her destitute life before Ralph made her such a phony…but the lying didn't even faze her.

Her life before Ralph Truitt was always in her blood and on her mind...the men, the late nights, the lights, the music. But she had to not let it interfere with her life as she knew it now. She pretended that her previous life never existed even though she longed for her old life style. She had to "play" the part of a reliable, demure wife who had no history.

Neither had been honest with each other. Both Ralph and Catherine had plans after the marriage took place, but her plans were not the same plans Ralph had for her. Too bad they were not on the same page.

Deceit, unfaithfulness, poison, a life that was a lie, regret, unbelievable forgiveness, and a hint of mystery.....that is what A RELIABLE WIFE was made of. And.......an incredible writing style that will keep you reading way into the night, and one you will not want to put down.

  "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 be believable, the fact is, the highest ratings go to those novels that grab readers and suck them in because they believe it. Even science fiction presents a story that readers come to believe, at least as long as they\'re reading it.

But A RELIABLE WIFE grabs the reader initially with its story of a lonely man who writes a personal ad for a reliable wife only to be deceived. He gets his wife, but she\\\'s not who she says she is, and her motives aren\\\'t pure. From there, though, the story disappoints. It\\\'s not bad, just not as good as its beginning promises.

  "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.

  "" by alyssa (see profile) 08/01/14

  "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 had made the house or the property haunted. I was concerned when I first read some reviews because it sounded like it was going to be very graphic sexually. That is where I thought the Victorian influences came through the most...each scene was described but left a lot to one's imagination. The extreme isolation, the bitter weather and all the secrets everyone is keeping from each other are almost characters unto themselves. Probably would have made an interesting Lifetime Movie.? All the characters seemed to have glimpses of what their lives could be if only they'd have been able to lose all the guilt and greed they carried around with them.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/18/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/28/18

  "" by Booksnthings (see profile) 12/17/19

  "A reliable wife?" by lizblair (see profile) 04/20/21

what the heck? This story was all over the place. Don't bother.

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