Saturday, April 11, 2009

Review: A Reliable Wife

"Country Businessman Seeks Reliable Wife. Compelled by Practical, not Romantic Reasons. Reply by Letter."

So reads the advertisement that Ralph Truitt places in several newspapers in his quest to find a wife. While he's a wealthy and successful Wisconsin business owner, Ralph has endured more than his fair share of tragedy in his life, losing his wife and two children...and never fully recovering or finding love again.

But when Catherine Land steps off the train, Ralph realizes that she isn't the girl from the photo, the girl he so carefully selected for her plain, simple looks. And, the rocky start to their first day together doesn't end there. On the way home, their horse-drawn carriage nearly collides with a deer, and Ralph suffers life-threatening injuries.

Over the next few days, Catherine nurses him back to health, and a bond forms between the two, despite the lie that started their relationship. Ralph soon unveils his true purpose for his "reliable wife" and the mission on which he wants her to embark. But, there's more to Catherine than meets the eye, too, and her own intentions (and complicated past) are equally surprising.

This was a compelling and engaging novel, full of twists at nearly every turn. Through evocative descriptions, author Robert Goolrick takes us to early 1900s winter in Wisconsin and through both the high-class and down-and-dirty streets of St. Louis.

Ralph and Catherine's relationship is, at times, difficult to realistically understand through its peaks and valleys, but, ultimately, it's the deception and suspense that truly propel this book forward to its dramatic end.

Note: This book topped the Today Show's list of the 10 best spring reads. You can see the entire list here.

11 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Great review. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

Lisa said...

I have this on my Wish List. Can't wait to read it! By the way, I've given you an award, so stop by and pick it up when you get a chance! You can find it here.

Kathy said...

I just checked this out at the library yesterday. I'm excited to read it.I've heard nothing but good about it.

carolsnotebook said...

This one sounds really great. I can't wait to read it.

Diane said...

This one looks good to me :) I was happy to see that I was not the only one who did not enjoy The Cradle, all that much.

Dar said...

Nice review. I'm looking forward to this one.

Gwendolyn B. said...

I want to read this one so badly - I don't dare actually read any reviews! I skimmed enough to tell that you liked it, so it's staying on my wish list!

Literary Feline said...

This does sound good! You've got me curious about what their motives really are. :-) Great review.

S. Krishna said...

I enjoyed this book as well. Nice review!

Bella Foxx said...

I gave you an award, you can pick it up at my blog, Bella is reading.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I'm intrigued ... I wonder what his real motive is, and why she (or someone) deceived him.

I've seen several positive reviews of A RELIABLE WIFE, it's on my wish list.