Book Review – A Reliable Wife

A Reliable WifeA Reliable Wife
Written By: Robert Goolrick
Published By: HarperCollins, 2009, First Canadian Edition, 304, trade paperback
ISBN 978-1554685035

A Reliable Wife simmers with dark, passionate undertones; a masterfully crafted tale of desire and betrayal.”

Product Description– From
“Set in a small Wisconsin farming and manufacturing town still crumbling a decade after the depression of the 1890s, A Reliable Wife tells the story of Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman who advertises for “a reliable wife” in newspapers across America. The woman he chooses, Catherine Land, describes herself as “a simple, honest woman,” but in truth she is both complex and devious— not the missionary’s daughter she claims to be in her letter to Truitt but a courtesan of great beauty, kept by men and haunted by a terrible past. Catherine’s plan in accepting the marriage offer 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 the passion she finds in this seemingly solid, forthright man—a man who also harbours secrets and whose own past is far from pure.”

A Reliable Wife is exactly what I was hoping for! This multifaceted story flows smoothly with some interesting plot twists. There are so many emotions simmering just below the surface of this story that they swamped me (in a good way) with their oppressive weight; it made me feel a little tainted and sullied. Ralph Truitt leads a constricted, colourless life as he hides behind decorum and routine. Catherine Land is running from something and wants to be a good wife; or so it seems. This crisp narrative is absorbing and intense; it is swathed in betrayal and pulsing with deception. Each of the characters is well developed and feels all too human. This compelling story reveals hidden desires and hidden agendas while striping all pretensions bare. Can Catherine be the reserved, reliable wife that Ralph is looking for or is his new bride a portent of doom?
I very highly recommend this book!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!

*To read more or to browse inside this book, please click here.

Link to the Author’s Website:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:

A special thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy


10 thoughts on “Book Review – A Reliable Wife

  1. Hi Belle,

    Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. :-)
    It’s the first book that I’ve ever read about mail-order brides and it’s was fantastic!
    Thank you for commenting!

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    I know what you mean. :-) The book cover was the first thing that caught my attention with this novel.
    Do book covers influence the books you choose to read and review?

  3. Hi Jennygirl,

    Yes, Catherine is very cold at times and very distant as well. There is more then meets the eye and I’m sure you will enjoy how she changes (thaws and becomes a little more humane) as the story progresses; I know how much I liked it! :-)
    I hope you enjoy it was much as I did!!!

  4. Thank you for directing me to your blog..and for visiting mine. I enjoyed reading your great view and like you, enjoyed this book tremendously.

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