A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Review by Kate Shaw
A fascinating, unexpected debut novel that examines the dark nature of humanity in the face of illness and loneliness. The book describes the rich landscape of 1907 Wisconsin and delves into how the harsh winters can affect the people of a small isolated town. Imagine Ralph Truitt’s surprise when Catherine Land steps off the train. Ralph, the wealthiest man in town, has placed an ad in the newspaper for “A Reliable Wife” and Catherine does not match the photograph she sent.
The book chronicles the uneasy start of Catherine and Ralph’s marriage. The reader comes to find that Catherine’s certainly not the pure, faithful woman she claims to be. Ralph, too, proves more than he appeared at first sight and encourages Catherine to help him locate his estranged son. The story escalates when Catherine begins to slowly poison her husband, allowing the reader to gain insight to the tortured thoughts of a conflicted woman. Continue reading