A Reliable Wife

A Novel

Goolrick, Robert

Book - 2009
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Reliable Wife
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.

Publisher: Chapel Hill : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 1565125967
Branch Call Number: FICTION GOOLRICK 2009
Characteristics: 291 p. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

A sad and lonely man in early 20th century rural Wisconsin advertises for a wife. The woman who shows up on the train is not what she appears to be, and has an agenda all her own. The man's estranged son lives a debauched life in a city far away, and he has an agenda, also. They come together in ... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 17, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Somewhat surprising twist on often-used themes. Love can exist under the most bizarre and trying circumstances

Feb 05, 2014
  • rowanquincy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved this and will seek out more books by this author. Intriguing characters and I never could anticipate how it would end up.

Dec 12, 2013

Ohj, i got to say that this book was awesome, he is a great author, i couldnt put this book down, i got to look for more books of him,,; )

Oct 31, 2013
  • millwood rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I don't get why people liked this book so much. Most of the plot revolves around the author telling - character changes and attitudes change suddenly and for little reason. I finished it, but only on the basis of the good reviews, and was disappointed I put the time in.

Oct 16, 2013
  • bbonier rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I have conflicting feelings about this book. The words flow easily, but the characters are dark and disturbing. Parts of it were predictable, which wasn't necessarily bad, but I couldn't wait for the story to be over.

Aug 02, 2013
  • awannam rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very well written book and interesting on many levels. The story is a dark one and ultimately it is a character study of the three main people in the book.

The book is also about healing and how love can develop when totally unexpected.

Jul 25, 2013
  • empbee rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Entertaining reading with some Dickensian elements, 19th century boredom wasted and spent life with no future. You can't save everyone; you can't escape your past.

Mar 22, 2013
  • wiredonjava rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This author has done it again! Such insight on complicated human behaviour & a good reminder to avoid the 'leeches' of society.

Jan 23, 2013
  • jeanie123 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This novel has some very dark and disturbing themes as each character descends into the realm of despair and madness and then rises up ever so slightly to a place of survival. I thought is was well written and worth reading.

Jan 16, 2013
  • HopeButterfly rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really am glad that I stumbled upon this author. Very strange writing but intriguing just the same. I really enjoyed this story.....
I read his other 2 and I felt the same way with them also.
Thanks for the good read Mr. Goolrick!!

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Jun 23, 2010
  • pcooper rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

pcooper thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Quote

Jul 16, 2009
  • VeganGreen rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

She loved the smell of the books from the shelves, the type on the pages, the sense that the world was an infinite but knowable place.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at MCL