Customer Reviews for

A Reliable Wife

Average Rating 3
( 3297 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(606)

4 Star

(923)

3 Star

(869)

2 Star

(468)

1 Star

(431)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

47 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

Well! That was interesting!

I really recommend this book if you are the least intrigued by it, two thumbs up. These two main characters are anything but the face they are showing each other. They EACH have baggage. This is anything but a simple, sweet story. This is an easy book to fall into, a fa...
I really recommend this book if you are the least intrigued by it, two thumbs up. These two main characters are anything but the face they are showing each other. They EACH have baggage. This is anything but a simple, sweet story. This is an easy book to fall into, a fast beginning. The writing is compelling, very descriptive, indeed. The characters are all repressed and strange, trying to appear normal. The steamy sex scenes were unexpected, and well, intriguing. There are some murderous notions, too. There are many surprises as we read of extravagance and material wastefulness beyond our wildest dreams. Dysfunctional relationships. There were a couple drops in the story, like turbulence on a plane, as I felt built up, then...bla, bla, and that's that. Yet, as we learned, "such things happen", and perhaps that was intended. The author, though, does a fine job keeping us connected and packing in quite a lot of action in what seems to be about a 6-month roller coaster ride.

posted by dreamerbyday on May 4, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

37 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

Don't be fooled by the first chapter!

I read the sample first chapter, and I was intrigued. The next couple of chapters were interesting, too, and so I kept reading. By the time I realized that I hated this book, I was 100 pages into it and then felt I had to finish. (I hate it when that happens.)

The...
I read the sample first chapter, and I was intrigued. The next couple of chapters were interesting, too, and so I kept reading. By the time I realized that I hated this book, I was 100 pages into it and then felt I had to finish. (I hate it when that happens.)

The writing drove me crazy. To describe the soon-to-be husband's desire, just about every sentence for 5 pages started with, "He wanted..." As in, "He wanted to speak to her of his desire, he wanted to undress her, he wanted to unbutton, he wanted to see her step out of her chemise, he wanted to lead her to his bed, he wanted to pull back the coverlet, he wanted to hold her face, he wanted to kiss her, he wanted her to want all this and he wanted her to fear it, he wanted her to submit..." This goes on for pages and pages while I was saying to myself, "I get it! He's horny!" And when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I read this incredible sentence:

"He wanted to slice her open and lie inside the warm blood of her body."

How romantic! Say what?

The female lead is more interesting, but still badly drawn. She seems to change her persona just by changing her dress. Characters are briefly introduced and then discarded - I didn't understand why, except maybe to fill in more pages between the "He wanted" and "She thought" sentences. None of the "surprises" surprised me.

Skip it!

posted by georface on June 30, 2010

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Page 3 of 166
  • Posted March 8, 2010

    The worst book I have ever read!!!!!!!!!

    This was just so awful!!! Horrible characters, implausible story. The constant lust filled paragraphs made me think I was reading a Harlequin Romance or such. It was impossible to believe some of the changes in characters as well. Just horrible!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2010

    Disappointed

    There were many pages I completely skipped because the writing did not interest me and was irrelevant to the story. The common theme of sex and drugs did nothing to improve the story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2010

    Blah

    Blah, blah, blah. Very disappointed in this book. While it catches your interest at the beginning, it soons loses it. I skimmed the last half. Not worth it. They'll probably make a movie out of it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    Book club read

    My entire book club loved this book. It was hard to put down. I would recommend it for 18 and up. Loved it!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not a book to read in the winter!

    This was not a book I normally would have choosen to read. It was a book assigned to our book club. I read through most of this book and skimmed it when the details became boring and uninteresting. While I have read other books that were worse than this, I wouldn't bother reading another one from this author again. The setting and characters were dreary and hopeless. There was constant death and depression. I would never recommend reading this book to anyone, especially during the winter months!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    Frustrating

    I have never written a book review but I found this book so frustrating that it compelled me to write one. This book does not have enough dialogue between the characters for you to get to know them and thus it makes you constantly yearn for a climax that you can never reach. The story line has great potential but the constant and never ending narrative leaves you wanting more. I continued reading it out of morbid curiosity and because I hate to leave a book in the middle and not finish what I started. Another thing I found tasteless and uneccesary was the repetitive and incesant mention of sex and the sexual act. I found the language crude and vulgar. I'm no prude, I just think a good writer can get the feeling across without being so specific...

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Tragic Story with Compelling Characters

    I really enjoyed this book. Not my usual genre but I was immersed into the characters - their lives, their lies, and their tragic stories. This book put me in mind of Theodore Dreiser's tragic stories and made me want to revisit them. Finished the book yesterday and still find myself thinking of the characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Terrible Writing Style

    I picked this up while shopping. The cover drew me and the blurb on the back intrigued me. However, I knew by the end of the first chapter that I did not care for it. I read a few more chapters and skimmed most of the rest. The plot was stupid. It is impossible for me to believe what the "hero" was willing to do for love. I also hated the author's writing style. I found it distracting from the story at hand. In conclusion; don't waste your money on this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A good one!

    An excellent book. I picked it up because of a display and was very glad I did. Read it in a day!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2010

    Painful

    The one star that I had to choose was too much. I downloaded the audio for this book as it was assigned to our book club. Not having enough time to read it, I listened to about 2/3 of it while running. This had to be one of the worst books I have ever encountered. Constructed of unbelievable, overacting characters and sensational plots - all to entice readers and to sell books? A book that is completely nauseating. This is the last book by this author that I will ever pick.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    Do Not Read

    I would recommend that you do not read this book. It is a waste of time. I did not enjoy the writing style or the plot. You will not care about any of these characters or their lurid life styles. They are all sick and twisted individuals. There are so many great books to read, so do not waste a minute on this trashy novel.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2010

    Yikes! What a miserable book!

    I thought the plot outline sounded interesting. I love novels that have a foot in historical fact. And so it was with great anticipation that I cracked the cover. I read this book while the snows of Northern Illinois were falling. I imagined being tucked in to my sofa, in front of a fire with an excellent, captivating, book. It would be an antidote to the Winter Doldrums. Not so. It was dreary, heavily plotted with boring descripition and heavy handed, gothic eroticism. The author attempts to make his characters flawed humans with the hope of redemption. Instead they are heartless and mean spirited caricatures, so self involved that they leave scant room for empathy. I forced myself to finish the book, but only by skipping paragraphs of plodding wordiness. I regret having spent my hard earned money on this drivel. I had just finished reading "The Book Thief", a book whose every word I savored. I did not want the book to end, unlike "A Reliable Wife", whose end I couldn't come soon enough.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    What a Book!

    One of the best books I have read in a while. Had a hard time putting this one down.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good read

    It's a very quick read and Robert Goolrick's writing style carries you away to a different time but with timeless experiences and messages. I find it hard to describe exactly how his prose picks you up and carries you as you read the story. It's entrancing. As I put the book down, I would find myself recognizing the simple treasures in my life.
    One thing Goolrick does very deftly is unfolds different layers of the story. It doesn't become predictable. He is able to effortlessly write to whichever way the axe falls in different parts of the story. Somehow, the believability of different events doesn't seem to matter because the events of the book are mere happenings and it is Goolrick's deft prose surrounding every event all that really matters.
    The characters are very well developed except for the character of Catherine's sister Alice. It seemed like an afterthought that small pieces of her character were written in. They did not seem to belong in the story.
    The theme of the story? Terrible things do happen but those mere life events or worldly treasures don't matter as long as you have the truly simple (priceless) human treasures that are the most meaningful to you. I highly recommend it. I may even read it again to catch some of the biggest plot turns that Goolrick weaves in so seamlessly that they can almost be missed.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Lots of Twists

    Loved this book, recommended to me by my aunt. Even when I thought I had it figured out, I was surprised.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    An Enjoyable Read

    Not going to describe this as a great book, but I am a big fan of how this author writes and his ability to paint a vivid picture. The book was entertaining and an easy read but not sure it would fit everyone's taste. He really can bring you into the setting and get you involved in the characters.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The best I've read in a while!

    Wow. This story sucks you in like you wouldn't believe! There is such sadness in both main characters, and along the way, you feel sympathy for both. (But I've read only halfway, so I may change my opinion in an hour or two...) If you put yourself back in 1907-ish you can feel greater sympathy for Catherine, whose gender gives her few options in life; her motto: if you can read, you can learn to do anything. I agree, but her troubled past (don't know all the details yet) has created something of a monster. Can't wait to finish it!!! (But then I'll be so sorry that I'm finished it!)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Slow start but stick with it

    I almost didn't finish this book. The first few chapters are a little dull and a little too detailed but then it really picks up and I couldn't put it down. Well worth the read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    a real chiaroscuro work, exploring nuances of dark, shadow, and light

    This is not an easy read. Though it starts off with a bang and rumbles down the track with an energy that drags you along, holding on for the ride, it asks much of the reader. Therein lies the reward. It is a book about opposites: light and dark, active and passive, sin and grace, past and present.

    The three protagonists of this book are flawed individuals in search of some grace to escape their pasts. It's a book about the choices we make in dealing with the past and forging a future, whether past events dictate present and future realities. Even the characters we meet indirectly, through the protagonists, follow the same path of flawed histories and what do we do with them, what do we carry forward, what do we hold onto and what do we let go? How much of it is choice, and how much of it is just an inevitable consequence of events?

    Sex figures prominently but I don't think gratuitously; rather, it brings a lot of definition to the characters and their attitudes toward other people and themselves. It is the measure by which some relationships are defined.

    This book puts me in mind of the phrase, "Sin boldly, so that grace may abound." Where is grace? How/where/in whom do we encounter it, and what do we do when we get a glimpse of it?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Three very unhappy people

    This is a very dark book about three very unhappy people. And yet . . . the last few pages almost make the whole, dark journey worth it. Almost, I say. It truly was difficult reading this book; there were many times I put it down, loathe to pick it up again. But, I kept coming back. Goolrick writes such wonderful character studies; you feel the anguish, the malaise, the disdain, the hurt with each character.

    While I can't recommend this book for someone who wants a light read, it is recommended for anyone who enjoys character-driven stories.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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