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A Reliable Wife

Average Rating 3
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(599)

4 Star

(916)

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(865)

2 Star

(464)

1 Star

(428)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

42 out of 49 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

33 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

HOW DID THIS GET TO BE SO POPULAR

The characters are thin, the plot thin, the writing thin, i just didn't get it! There wasn't one thing I liked about this book and it was our book club selection, our group of 12 all agreed this was our weakest to date! and all the gratuitous sex,

posted by 1202183 on April 20, 2010

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Page 1 of 46
  • Posted May 4, 2009

    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 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.

    42 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    enjoyable

    i enjoyed this book. there were a few twists that i didn't see coming. for those readers who suffer from winter blues, don't read it. i actually liked the cold wisconsin setting. the characters kind of match the desolate location. i will pass this novel along for others to read.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hooked me from the start

    Very interesting plot, with unexpected twists. I was interested in the characters from the start.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Unusual story with exceptional writing

    Goolrick takes a plotline that has been done before - the mail-order bride is not what she claims to be - and turns it on a dime. Here, she is not what she claims to be - but neither is the man who ordered her. The author weaves these characters in a way that you are drawn into them along with a compelling storyline that won't let go. And before you know it, it's 3:00 in the morning.

    The first section of the book is a little slow, but soon the pages are flying, and the writing is truly exceptional. Goolrick has a long and steady career in front of him, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future works.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2010

    Good plot with surprises

    A study of lonliness, sure. Both Truitt and Catherine have rich internal lives which strongly contrast with their public personae, but the real main character here is the cold, forbidding, vast Wisconsin landscape. The plot drags in some places but overall the author tells a good story and has a pleasing style.

    3 out of 4 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 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 February 9, 2013

    I really like the twist in this book. The ending was not expecte

    I really like the twist in this book. The ending was not expected. I would recommend this book to any book lover.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    When this booked ended, my reaction was "WOW".

    Yes it is a bit of an old story but it has many twists and turns and you are pulling for the characters at every surprising turn.
    The elements of desire are fully felt by the characters and readers.
    The cover suggests a bodice ripper, but the book is much more moody,dark, and surprising. I thought the writing was very evocative of the period and I held my breath with hope till the very end.
    I really liked it, but would say it is more a woman's book....but
    an especially good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    Mail Order Bride Leads a Double Life!

    This book was interesting, controversial and quite unique! It has charisma and keeps the reader's interest just to find out what makes these characters tick. It was a quick read but not predictable. Lots to talk about and great discussion book for book clubs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    a worthwhile gamble

    I was not sure about taking a chance on this book given the up/down reviews, but am glad that I decided yes. Most of the reviews both for and against are accurate which is part of the reason the book is a worthwhile read. I have to say, for me, I had a hard time with the time frame of events - it would seem a long time has passed in the narrative, but then other events would happen and you wouldn't be that far in the future - that kept me off balance and unable to anchor to the story. The characters were interesting, but shallow; the story line predictable with unexpected twists; the story misty - not really dark but no sunshine either.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    It made me reminisce of Edith Wharton...

    The opening scenes with blizzard approaching and whiting out the landscape first called to mind Ethan Fromme and then in the same chapter when Truitt is thrown from the carriage and severely injured, I was sure that Mr. Goolrick had also been enamored of that same novel while in high school.
    These characters are all searching for redemption amidst the cold, grey landscape of Wisconsin in the early 1900's. Time and time they make misguided and ill-fated choices and act without concern even for themselves. I kept rooting for them and they kept letting me down but somehow with some interesting plot twists and character machinations there is a hopeful end.
    This was an enjoyable and easy read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing

    This book had a different spin on it, then I had expected. I had figured out what was going on before they told you, but it was still good. I didn't want to put it down because I wanted to see where it would go. I was happily surprised by the ending.
    I would reccommend for a nice read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Decent Book

    I went in with not a lot of expectations and came out pretty much satisfied. The characters were well developed, the plot kept going and didn't derail, and it was a rather short read which was what I was in the mood for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great First Novel

    In his debut novel, Robert Goolrick has created a first chapter that would be envied by experienced novelists. If I may be forgiven the use of a visual term in the review of a literary work, I can best characterize the first chapter as an excellent use of mise-en-scene. Set primarily in the wintry Wisconsin of the first decade of the twentieth century, the novel explores the many madnesses that can afflict the human soul, particularly when the soul is imprisoned within by the white and cold bleakness outside. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men and women? Robert Goolrick knows. This is a beautifully written, darkly atmospheric novel with just the right touch of redemption.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    A Reliable Read

    It took a few chapters to get into the book. Godrick starts off very descriptive of main character and time period. The book was initially confusing as it bounced between time and point of view of the characters but once you became comfortable with the writing style, it was much easier to follow and more enjoyable. The book was full of little twists that I did not anticipate but definitely enjoyed. The plot picked up towards to middle and continued to be very descriptive. The use of imagary allows you to put yourself in the story. The end where Godrick describes the flower gardens almost had me smelling flowers! I would recommend this book to anyone that likes to fall into a book and not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    If You Like Wuthering Heights, this book is for you

    Reliable wife was nothing that I expected. The writing sytle felt very gothic, which was good for a change. The book did start out slowly, but somehow the writing style really drew me in. I also liked that there were a lot of twists involved in the book, and it kept me engaged trying to figure out what would happen next. My only criticism is that all the sexual tension (over and over again) was not necessary. It didn't really add much to the story other than being a hot, steamy novel. In this way, I felt it was trying too hard. I read this book for my book club. We actually had some good discussions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Surprisingly Good

    I saw the book cover in the book store and it caught my eye. I also noticed it was on the best sellers list for a few months. I went on a trip to Arizona and someone on the plane was reading it. I asked if it was good and they thought it was great. They finished reading on the plane and gave it to me after the flight. I have the NOOK and decided to purchase it in digital form. I started to read it and I thought it would be another typical romance novel. It wasn't, it was thrilling and twisted. I could not wait to have free time to read it. I read it in three days. If I had the time I could have finished in one day. I didn't want to put it down. I lent the paperback to friends and they loved it also.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    I wished there was an epilogue or hopefully there is part II.

    This was our book club pick. The first few pages were dark and depressing. I didn't think I would like it but kept reading just in case it got better. It did. In fact it's one of the best books I've read in a long time! It's one of those stories you find yourself thinking about long after you've read the book. The characters are multi-dimensional, so many layers of surprise. For people who like to get into the subconscious of "why" people behave, you'll find the players fascinating; even the minor ones. It's a great contrast on poverty and wealth, love and hate, beauty and gore, lies and honesty, sadness and ecstasy, despair and hope. You know it's a good book when you're sad that the ending is a few pages away and there is still more to the story or at least to the characters that you want to know about! That would be my only criticism; I wished there was an epilogue. Hopefully there is a part II, or this is the beginning of a series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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