Tuesday, August 18, 2015
54. A Reliable Wife - Robert Goolrick
2009, Algonquin Books
Adult Historical Fiction with a more than touch of mystery...
Finished August, 2015
Goodreads rating: 3.24
My rating: 4
Setting: Winter , 1907, rural Wisconsin
First line/s: "It was bitter cold, the air was electric with all that had not happened yet."
My comments: This book was not at all what I expected, and I read it all in one long sitting (a great day to spend inside when it's 110 degrees outside). I enjoyed the surprises and the way they were added to the story. Although I can't define "normal" sexuality, desires, self-admiration, self-loathing, and religious fervor, I do think the author goes a little over the top here and there. The time period and setting added another layer of unexpectedness, as I don't read a whole lot of historical fiction and know very little about the state of Wisconsin. On the whole, I enjoyed reading this book very much.
Goodreads synopsis: 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.